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CORNELL 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 




Cornell University Library 
F 782L2 W33 
History of Larmer County, Cpjoradp. Col 




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3 1924 028 878 936 



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GAYLORD 






PRINTED IN U.S.A. 




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HISTORY 



■OF- 



LARIMER COUNTY 

COLORADO 



Collated and Compiled from Historical 

Authorities, Public Reports, Official 

Records and Other Reliable 

Sources— Stories of Indian 

Troubles and of the 

Pioneer Days 



By ANSEL WATROUS 



ILLUSTRATED 



The Courier Printing ^ Publishing Company 

Fort Collins, Colorado 

1911 



Copyrighted, 1911 

The Courier Printing & Publishing Company 

Fort Collins, Colorado 



Preface 

/ hear the tread of Pioneers, of Nations yet to be; 

The first low wash of waves, where soon shall roll a human sea. — Whittier. 

SOME books, it is said, need no explanation. This one does. I undertook the prepa- 
ration of it with misgivings concerning my ability to tell the story of the rise and 
progress of Larimer County as it should be told. Now that it is done, I fain would 
ask the indulgence of those into whose hands the book may fall, especially the critically 
disposed, because of its imperfections. It would be presumptuous to claim that a book cov- 
ering the County could be entirely free from errors, but I hope it will serve the purpose of 
preserving for the use of some future historian a comparatively correct record of the 
events, incidents and circumstances of the early days in this portion of the "Great Ameri- 
can Desert." I can assure the reader that much care has been taken in its preparation 
and, as far as possible, dates, incidents and circumstances have been obtained from public 
reports, official records and other reliable sources. Until a few months ago I had had no 
thought of entering upon the undertaking myself, but had long harbored the hope that 
some one would take up the task of collating and compiling a history of Larimer County 
and carry it to completion. I knew it should be done before the Pioneers, those who 
had laid the foundations broad and deep, for the blessings we now enjoy, had all been 
numbered with those who have passed on to their eternal reward; for they would carry 
with them personal recollections of events and incidents that reports and records might 
be searched for in vain. My hopes failed of realization. No one came forward to do the 
work. At last I was persuaded to undertake the task, and this book is the result. Possi- 
bly it contains that which should have been left out, and omitted things that should have 
been inserted. There is nothing perfect in this world. There are two legitimate ways of 
writing history. One is to make a plain, simple statement of facts; the other, to clothe 
the statement in language fitted to appeal to the reader's imagination. I have endeav- 
ored to combine the two. I have conscientiously tried to present the facts, leaving, at 
the same time, plenty of room for the play of the imagination. The facts have been 
gathered from numerous sources, from historical works, from public reports and official 
records, from old magazines, files of newspapers and from personal interviews with sur- 
viving Pioneers or members of the families of those who have passed away. The illus- 
trations have been picked up, here and there, wherever a picture could be found that had 
a bearing on the conditions of the early days. The book Is written for the people of Lari- 
mer County, and my sole desire is that it may awaken within their hearts a fresh interest 
in those who were the Pioneers in the redemption of this favored portion of the Great 
American Desert. If I have succeeded in doing that and shall have at the same time 
preserved the facts in a convenient form for the use of the future historian of the County, 
my labors will not have been in vain. Let him who next writes the history of Larimer 
County enlarge upon the theme and clothe the facts in literary raiment of enchanting 
beauty and indulge in philosophical comments to his heart's content; it is enough for me 
that I have furnished the basis for him to build upon. 



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Note of Acknowledgment 

IN THE preparation of this volume I have consulted and used as 
authorities Bancroft's "History of Colorado"; Hall's "History 
of Colorado"; Coutant's "History of Wyoming"; Dodge's 
"Plains of the Great West"; Fremont's "Second Expedition"; 
King's "Handbook of the United States" ; Chittenden's "History of 
the American Fur Trade"; Bowles' "Across the Continent"; Rich- 
ardson's "Beyond the Mississippi"; Greeley's "Overland Journey"; 
Bird's "Life in the Rocky Mountains"; Parrish's "The Great 
Plains"; Mills' "Story of Estes Park"; Captain Drannan's "Thirty- 
one Years on the Plains"; the official records of Larimer County 
and of the City of Fort Collins; the files of the Courier and Express 
of Fort Collins, the Reporter of Loveland, and the Bulletin of 
Berthoud. I am also under obligations to Professors L. G. Car- 
penter, James W. Lawrence, and W. R. Thomas of the Colorado 
State Agricultural College; to Judge Jefferson McAnelly, Emmet 
C. McAnelly, County Surveyor, and Sheriff C. A. Carlton, as well 
as to scores of Pioneers and early settlers for favors shown, 
valuable information furnished and assistance rendered in compil- 
ing and arranging the matter herein contained. 



A Tribute to the Author 

THE publishers of this volume desire to make an acknowledgment of their debt to 
Mr. Ansel Watrous, the author of this history, not only for the untiring and pains- 
taking service he has rendered in the gathering, compilation and writing of the 
book, but more especially to act as the voice of the people in expressing appreciation of 
his part in the actual making of history in Larimer county. This volume is the best possi- 
ble monument that could stand as a mark of the author's years of usefulness in this com- 
munity, and we feel that it is due Mr. Watrous to incorporate in the record something that 
will inform posterity concerning the part he played in making Fort Collins what the city 
is today. 

A newspaper editor, if of strong personality, necessarily becomes more than a mere 
recorder of events. He often shapes and molds the destiny of a community by his edi- 
torial utterances. It is in this respect that Mr. Watrous has earned the gratitude of Fort 
Collins and Larimer county. As may be read in the very brief biographical record 
which he would allow of himself in these pages, he was the founder of the Courier, and 
he will remain the editor of that newspaper as long as he is able to push the pencil. Paren- 
thetically, it may be remarked that, in spite of his seventy-five years — the age at which he 
completes this history — he is in the enjoyment of full physical and mental vigor, with a 
brain that acts as clearly as though the possessor were still in middle age. Looking back 
over the files of the Courier one finds the best index to the character of the man whose 
hand has guided the destinies of the paper for more than thirty years. In all that time, 
every line written concerning the future of city and county was in an optimistic tone. There 
was a never failing fountain of hope into which the editor dipped his pen. He has, in 
his own life, been a reflection of that spirit, for the years have rested lightly upon him, 
and he has lived to see the county of his adoption prosper and grow fat. He saw the ox- 
team go out and the automobile come in. He witnessed the transformation from desert 
to garden; saw the magnificent trees that now line the city's broad avenues when they 
were but tender saplings. He knew intimately the days when the cowman was supreme ; 
he saw the tiller of the soil supercede the cowman and he made his newspaper the organ 
of the new agriculture. He advocated the introduction of the sugar beet and witnessed 
the birth and growth of that now stupendous industry, with its millions of investment. 
He fought for a town of commercial and moral greatness. Many years ago he took up 
the cudgel for morality in Fort Collins. He fought for a clean town — and fought Is 
used advisedly, for he held out for the right against direct threats of death and at- 
tempted destruction of his newspaper plant by dynamite. He seldom speaks of his own 
experiences, but those of the older generation readily recall the stormy days when Ansel 
Watrous, through the Courier, conducted the first campaign for better moral conditions 
In Fort Collins. He won the fight and laid the foundation for the clean city of today by 
making lawlessness unpopular and by enthroning good government. And that course he 
has always maintained, preferring always to stand for a clean city and never taking 
stock In the theory that a dissolute town Is essential to prosperity. 

He has been a consistent prophet of greatness for Fort Collins and has always held 
before the people an ideal worth striving for. It is good to note that the prophecies 
which he has made are now being fulfilled, for we now have a city that embodies all of 



the advantages of a metropolis, and each of Its public utilities and improvements has 
materialized only after the idea often had been first broached, and at any rate always 
fostered and furthered through the editorial assistance of Mr. Watrous. 

There are few men in the West and perhaps none other in the State of Colorado, 
who have been so efficient and faithful in the service of the public through a newspaper, 
and none anywhere who so consistently held to high ideals in the conduct of a paper. We 
are certain that the subject of this tribute does not himself realize what a force he has 
been in this community. That, however, Is the best Indication of the unselfish character 
of the service rendered. He has labored for love of his profession and not in the hope 
of financial reward. Had he been less occupied with the affairs of the community at 
large, he might have taken advantage of the many opportunities that have offered 
themselves during his long residence here, for acquiring wealth. He does not, however, 
possess the business instinct, but is of decidedly literary bent, being content, when not 
engaged in editorial duties, with the companionship of his favorite authors. He Is ex- 
ceedingly well read and the possessor of a remarkable memory for events, dates, names, 
and faces, being literally an encyclopedia of ever ready information concerning the af- 
fairs of Fort Collins, Larimer county and Colorado, as well as of the nation and world 
at large. 

He and Mrs. Watrous have together grown to a beautiful and peaceful age. They 
have no children of their own, but the best years of their life have been given to the rear- 
ing of the children of others, who now have gone out Into the world. They live alone, yet 
not as old people, but following the daily routine common to most people in the prime of 
active life. And this activity is a continuation of that service which has not only 
recorded, but made history. Scores of political campaigns, dozens of crises in municipal, 
county and state affairs, tragedy, disaster, births, deaths, marriages, drouth and flood, 
good fortune and ill — in short, life in all its phases, has passed in review before the editor, 
whose pen has faithfully chronicled the passing of these things and drawn from them for 
our perusal the lessons that have made Fort Collins a better city and Larimer a greater 
county. To this man, whose crowning effort is now put forth In this history, all honor! 
May he be with us yet many a year, to share In the further glory of industrial achieve- 
ment and to enjoy to the utmost the beauties which Nature has so bountifully bestowed 
upon this region. Such is the earnest wish of the publishers of this, Ansel Watrous' His- 
tory of Larimer county. 

The Courier Printing ^ Publishing Company. 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER 



COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



Colorado 



'Colorado, rare Colorado! Yonder she rests; her head of gold pillowed on the Rocky 
Mountains, her feet in the brown grass, the boundless plains for a playground; she is set on 
a hill before the world, and the air is very clear, so all may see her well. " — Joaquin Miller. 



IN 1806, one hundred and four years ago, a 
military exploring party, led by Lieut. Zebu- 
Ion M. Pike, United States army, penetrated 
the western country from the Mississippi 
river to the Rocky Mountains. The region then 
explored, known as the Louisiana province, had, 
three years before, been acquired by the United 
States by purchase from France, and only a vague 
and indefinite knowledge of the extent, and char- 
acter and resources was in possession of the Govern- 
ment. Lieut. Pike and his party in November of 
that year reached the base of the mountain which 
bears his name and which will forever perpetuate 
his memory, although he never scaled its summit. 
He is believed to have been the first American to 
enter Colorado. While on the return journey he 
was captured by Spanish troops and taken to 
Chihuahua. Long's Peak, forming the southwestern 
corner post of Larimer county, similarly honors 
Major Stephen H. Long, who explored parts of 
Colorado in 1820. About the year 1840 Mexico 
made a grant of a vast tract of land in the Las 
Animas region to Cols. Vigil, and St. Vrain ; a 
little later William Bent established a trading post 
on the Arkansas river. 

Colorado west of the Continental Divide belonged 
to Mexico, and was ceded to the United States in 
1848, and became part of the new Territory of 
Utah. Colorado east of the divide lay in the huge 
province of Louisana, a part of New France, ceded 
to Spain in 1763, restored to France in 1801, and 
sold to the United States in 1803, for $15,000,000. 
From that date until 1812 it lay in Louisana Ter- 
ritory; and after that in Missouri Territory; and 
from 1854 in Nebraska and Kansas Territories. 
The region south of the Arkansas river belonged to 
the Republic of Texas from its foundation until it 
became merged in the United States, when part of 
it was annexed to New Mexico and part to Kansas. 
As early as 1848, a wandering band of Cherokee 
Indians discovered gold in the vicinity of what is 
now the city of Denver; but it was not until 1858 
that W. Green Russell's party of Georgians and a 
company from Kansas, began to wash gold from the 



sands of the South Platte river and its tributaries. 
In May, 1859, John H. Gregory discovered gold 
near Idaho Springs. When the news of these 
treasures of the mountains reached the East, a vast 
and tumultuous emigration began across the wild 
untrodden plains, and the serene and lonely Pike's 
Peak region becanje the magnet of thousands of 
brave adventurers. 

The Territory of Colorado was created by act of 
Congress, approved February, 1861. The boundar- 
ies of Colorado, as described in the organic act, in- 
cluded all the territory between the thirty-seventh 
and forty-first parallels of north latitude, and the 
twenty-fifth and thirty-second meridians of longi- 
tude west of Washington, forming an oblong square 
containing 104,500 square miles, or 66,880,000 
acres of land. The Territorial oflScers commissioned 
by President Lincoln were William Gilpin, Gov- 
ernor; Lewis L. Weld, Secretary; Benjamin F. 
Hall, Chief Justice ; S. Newton Pettis and Charles 
L. Armor, Associate Justices; Copeland Townsend, 
Marshal; James D. Daliba, Attorney-General, and 
F. M. Case, Surveyor-General. They arrived in 
Denver May 29th, and were cordially welcomed. 
The constitutions drafted in 1859 and 1863 were 
rejected by the people, but in 1865 they adopted one, 
and congress passed an act admitting the Territory 
to the Union. President Johnson vetoed this docu- 
ment, and for eleven years longer the people re- 
mained under a Territorial government. 

When the Civil war broke out in 1861, Colorado 
sent into the Union army two regiments of cavalry, 
a regiment of infantry and a battery, besides raising 
troops for home defense. Threatened by Confed- 
erates on one side and Indians on the other, many 
pioneers returned to the East to remain until the 
trouble was over. Sibley's Confederate invasion of 
New Mexico in 1861 had for its chief object an ad- 
vance to the Platte valley and the occupation of the 
country as far north as Fort Laramie. Thus the Pa- 
cific coast states would be cut away from the Repub- 
lic, and the overland route closed. This deadly 
peril was averted by the Colorado volunteers, who 
did not wait for the invaders to reach their country, 

[7] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



but advanced into New Mexico, and met and 
checked the hitherto triumphant Confederates at La 
Glorietta (Apache Caiion). 

Following the close of the war in 1865, a new 
tide of immigrants flowed into Colorado and the de- 
velopment of its resources became more rapid and 
life more secure. The Ute Indians, formerly sole 
owners of the western part of the Territory, sold 
their lands to the Government, and were concen- 
trated upon the White river, Uncompahgre and 
Southern reservations, whence most of them have 
since been removed to Utah. 

The name "Colorado" is the past participle of the 
Spanish verb "Colorar," "to color," with a second- 
ary meaning of "ruddy" or "blushing;" and was 
originally applied by the Spaniards to the Colorado 
river, whose water is red in hue when swollen by 
the heavy rains from the disintegration of the red- 
dish soils through which it flows. A popular nick- 
name for Colorado is the Centennial State, because 
it was admitted to the Union in the hundredth year 
after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 
Later it was called the Silver State, because of the 
predominance of that metal in the mines then 
worked. The older title of the Buffalo-Plain State 
is now meaningless and has been for more than three 
decades, since the extinction of the bison. The 
people living here used to be called Pike's Peakers. 

Colorado's coat-of-arms includes a shield, with a 
miner's pick and mallet crossed, and a range of 
snowy mountains. The motto is "Nil Sine Nu- 
mine'' Latin words meaning "Nothing without 
God." 

The Governors of Colorado have been : Terri- 
torial : William Gilpin , 1861-2; John Evans, 1862- 
5; Alex. Cummins, 1865-7; A. C. Hunt, 1867-9 
Edward M. McCook, 1869-73; Samuel H. Elbert 
1873-4; John L. Routt, 1874-6; State: John L 
Routt, 1877-9; Frederick W. Pitkin, 1879-83 
James B. Grant, 1883-85; Benj. H. Eaton, 1885-7 
Alva Adams, 1887-9; Job A. Cooper, 1889-91 
John L. Routt, 1891-3; Davis H. White, 1893-5 
W. J. Mclntyre, 1895-7; Alva Adams, 1897-9 
Charles S. Thomas, 1899-01 ; James B. Orman, 
1901-3; James H. Peabody, 1903-5; J. F. McDon- 
ald, 1905-7; Henry A. Buchtel, 1907-9; John F. 
Shafroth, 1909-11. 

Geography 

Colorado covers an area equal to New England 
and Ohio combined. Its chief divisions are the 
Plains, the Foothills, and the Rocky Mountains. 
The Great Plains ascend from Kansas to the Foot- 

[8] 



hills, a vast open region of low ridges and valleys 
with an elevation of from 3,000 to 5,000 feet above 
the sea. Everywhere, in their season, the face of the 
country is covered with gorgeous wild flowers, and 
modern irrigation processes, wherever water can be 
applied, are converting the plains into a rich garden 
of agriculture. The Divide is a ridge 7,500 feet 
above the sea, running eastward from the front 
range, and separating the waters of the Platte and 
Arkansas rivers. The Plains were originally tree- 
less, save where belts of cottonwood and aspen fol- 
lowed the courses of the streams ; but since the ad- 
vance of population hitherward and the develop- 
ment of irrigating systems, myriads of trees have 
been planted on the uplands and in the valleys. The 
Foothills run north and south, from thirty to fifty 
miles wide, with an elevation of from 6,500 to 8,000 
feet, diversified and broken in their outline, and gen- 
erally abounding in timber and water. They con- 
tain many fertile valleys and grazing districts, and 
thousands of beautiful homes have been established 
among them. They are also rich in minerals, clays 
and building stones, including granite and marble. 

The Rocky Mountains form the Continental Di- 
vide, or water shed, and traverse Colorado from 
north to south and southwest, with many tributary 
ranges. This magnificent labyrinth has two-score 
peaks of above 14,000 feet, and nearly 200 exceed- 
ing 13,000 in height. For 150 miles north and south, 
from Gunnison to the northern boundary of the state 
the mountain mass is 120 miles wide and includes 
the Front, Park and Saguache ranges. The Medicine 
Bow range, which forms the western boundary of 
Larimer county, is a spur of the main range. The 
front range is the eastern line of peaks, visible for 
scores of miles over the lonely plains toward the 
Missouri, and forming a vast and impressive line 
of mountains, broken by several summits which over- 
tower the great wall. It is 120 miles long, begin- 
ning on the south of the famous Pike's Peak, 14,147 
feet high, which for many years gave its name to all 
Colorado. Its summit is reached by a long carriage 
road, and also a mountain cog-wheel railway, built 
in 1890. The view from this point, and from the 
oft-ascended Gray's and Long's and other peaks, is 
of immense extent and amazing grandeur. 

The parks of Colorado are ancient lake basins 
walled in by stupendous mountain ranges, and com- 
posed of beautiful, undulating regions of vales and 
hillsides, with bright lakes and, streams, shadowy 
forests, and a varied and abundant vegetation of 
timber, flowers and grasses. They extend nearly the 
whole length of the state from north to south, just 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER 



COUNTY 



COLORADO 



west of the Front range, with an average width of 
about fifty miles, and are separated from each other 
by high mountains. North Park, with its 2,500 
square miles of wooded hillsides and meadows, for- 
merly a part of Larimer county, but created, organ- 
ized and established in 1909 as Jackson county, lays 
on the northern border of the state, between the 
Continental Divide on the west, the Medicine Bow 
mountains on the east and the Rabbit Ear range on 
the south. The North Platte river takes its rise in 
the park and flows into Wyoming. North Park has 
an elevation of 8,500 feet above the sea and is the 
stockman's paradise, its rich pastures and extensive 
meadows providing forage for tens of thousands of 
cattle and horses. It is almost entirely underlaid 
with a fine quality of lignite coal, some of whose 
measures are sixty-five feet in thickness. Walden, 
situated near the junction of the Michigan and Illi- 
nois rivers, tributaries of the North Platte, is the 
principal town and county seat of Jackson county. 
It has a population of about 600, and practically all 
lines of business are represented there. During the 
present year it will probably be connected up with 
the outside world by the Laramie, Hahn's Peak 
Pacific railroad, which is building into North Park 
from Laramie, Wyoming. Southward, across the 
narrow and lofty Rabbit Ear range, which forms a 
part of the Continental Divide, lies Middle Park. 
Middle Park covers 3,000 square miles of pleasant 
valleys and wooded hills, 9,000 feet above the sea, 
and environed on three sides by magnificent snowy 
ranges, with Long's Peak, Gray's Peak, and their 
lofty brethren overlooking its grassy hills. It forms 
a part of Grand county, whose shire town is Hot 
Sulphur Springs. Middle Park is now crossed by 
the Moffat road in course of construction from Den- 
ver to Salt Lake. South Park, the most attractive 
of the series, is a lovely vale forty miles long, walled 
in by the Rampart range on the east and the Snowy 
Park range in the west, and watered by the South 
Platte and its silvery confluents. This mountain- 
girt amphitheater, with its wonderful variety of rich- 
ness of scenery, is traversed by several railways and 
dotted with villages, mines and ranches. Its average 
elevation is 9,000 feet above the sea level. 

The San Luis Park covers 9,400 square miles and 
is the largest of Colorado's inter-mountain parks. It 
is walled in by the Sangre-de-Cristo and Culebra 
ranges on the east, and by the Sierra San Juan on 
the west. Here the Rio Grande river takes its rise 
amid noble forests. 

The valleys of the Grand and Gunnison rivers 
and Roaring Fork were first settled by white people 



in 1880. Since then this vast area has devel- 
oped rapidly and numerous villages, towns and cities 
exist now where only the red men made their homes 
prior to that date. In these valleys are found inex- 
haustible fields of coal, iron, lead, copper and silver, 
and large areas of rich soil specially adapted to fruit 
culture. Thousands of carloads of peaches, apricots, 
pears, plums and apples are shipped out of these val- 
leys every year. 

The rivers of Colorado are unnavigable torrents, 
flowing down out of the mountains with flashing 
cascades, quiet pools and foaming rapids. Here the 
Platte, Arkansas, Rio Grande and Colorado are 
born. The Republican and the Smoky Hill Fork of 
the Kansas rise from the Plains in the eastern part 
of the state. East of the front range the waters of 
the mountain-born streams are skillfully availed of 
for the irrigation of thousands of productive farms. 
The North Platte gathers its waters from the Medi- 
.cine. Bow range and the Continental Divide in 
North Park. The South Platte is born at Mont- 
gomery, on Buckskin mountain, 11,176 feet high, 
and crosses South Park, descending 6,000 feet before 
reaching Denver. The sources of the Arkansas are 
in Tennessee pass, and for scores of miles it flows 
like a silver thread at the bottom of a caiion over a 
thousand feet deep, culminating in the Royal Gorge, 
near Canon City. The Arkansas flows across the 
Plains, southeast, 500 miles in Colorado, receiving 
the waters of the Greenhorn, Huerfano, Apishapa, 
Purgatoire, Cimmaron, Fountaine qui Bouille and 
numerous other streams. The Purgatoire river tra- 
verses a wonderful canon fifty miles long, with 
walls 800 to 1,000 feet high, around whose gloomy 
shadows (if tradition may be believed) an entire 
Spanish regiment was lost. The Rio Grande river 
rises in the Sierra San Juan and flows east and south 
through San Luis Park and into New Mexico. The 
northwestern part of the state is watered by the 
Grand, Bear (Yampah) and White rivers, and their 
numerous affluents. The Animas, Mancos and 
other tributaries of the San Juan drain the chaotic 
mountains of Southwestern Colorado into the Colo- 
rado river. In this region, along the Hovenweep 
and McElmo, are found the ruined houses and 
watch towers of the long-extinct Cliff Dwellers, 
driven ages ago to their holes in the precipice walls 
by deadly enemies, Aztecs or Apaches. Some of the 
ruins are 700 feet long, constructed of massive 
blocks of stone, or carved with great labor from the 
live rock. 

Much of the finest scenery of the Atlantic slope 
occurs in the wonderful chasms which the streams 



[9] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



and convulsions of Nature have hewn in the sides of 
the mountains with perpendicular granite or sand- 
stone walls. Cache la Poudre, Big Thompson, 
Boulder, Cheyenne, Clear Creek, Grape Creek and 
other canons are famous for their remarkable 
scenery, and the Grand Canon of the Arkansas is 
even more impressive and wonderful. West of the 
main range the streams flow in the bottoms of yet 
more prodigious canons, with rock walls half a mile 
or more high, generally mostly precipitous, and 
sometimes even overhanging their bases. The Black 
and Grand canons of the Gunnison, the long gorge 
of the Uncompahgre, and the deep chasms in which 
the Dolores flows are remarkable for their extent 
and grandeur. 

High up among the sunlit peaks many crystalline 
lakes reflect the clear sky and the granite spires 
above them, and send their bright waters plunging 
and murmuring down through rugged canons to 
join other streams making for either the Atlantic or 
the Pacific oceans. Near Georgetown is the deep 
emerald expanse of Green Lake, with Clear Lake 
above it and Elk Lake at the edge of the timber line. 
The Twin Lakes, fourteen miles from Leadville, lie 
at the base of the lofty Mount Elbert, 9,357 feet 
above the sea, and their unusual beauty has attracted 
a settlement of summer hotels and cottages on their 
shores. The five Evergreen lakes mirror the huge 
sides of Mount Massive; and the crag-bound Chi- 
cago lakes spread their transparent waters high up 
near the summits of Mount Evans, the uppermost of 
them being 11,434 feet above sea level, and perpet- 
ually frozen. Palmer lake, on the Divide, midway 
between Denver and Pueblo (7,238 feet high), has 
on its shore a pleasant health resort, villages and 
sanitariums. Nestled high up on the pine-clad 
slopes of Mount Cameron, in the Medicine Bow 
range, lies Chambers lake, one of Larimer county's 
boasted beauty spots. This lake is at an elevation of 
9,000 feet above sea level, and is fed by Joe Wright, 
Trap and other small streams which head still 
higher up in the mountains, and its outlet is one of 
the sources of the Cache la Poudre river. It was 
named for a bold trapper and hunter named Cham- 
bers, who in the early part of the nineteenth century 
penetrated the wilderness at the headwaters of the 
Cache la Poudre in search of beaver and other fur- 
bearing animals. Joe Wright creek also owes its 
name to a trapper who spent a winter on the stream 
gathering peltries. 

Large areas of white and yellow pine and cedar 
still remain on the mountains of Colorado. The 
ridges and mountains are covered with noble ever- 

[10] 



green trees, up to 9,000 feet, and thin and wind- 
blown trees for 3,000 feet higher, or up to timber 
line, above which the peaks are bleak rocks, with 
slight patches of grass and alpine flowers. The wild 
animals of the highlands include bears, wolves, 
pumas, wild cats, deer, elk, beaver and others. On 
the plains millions of prairie dogs dwell, with deer, 
antelopes, wolves, coyotes, hares and other game, 
yearly dwindling away. 

The climate of this great mountain realm nat- 
urally has a wide diversity; from the high summer 
heat of the plains to the perpetual snows of the 
mountain ranges. The east and south winds are 
damp and cold; the west winds, though blowing 
across hundreds of miles of snowy ranges, are warm 
and dry. As a rule the nights are cool, even when 
the days reach 90 degrees. The foothills have hot 
summers, with cool nights, and mild winters, with 
snow seldom abiding long. The average mean tem- 
perature in winter is 30.3 degrees ; spring, 48.7 de- 
grees; summer, 69.7 degrees, and autumn, 50.7 de- 
grees. Changes are frequent and sometimes sharp, 
but the dryness of the atmosphere mitigates their se- 
verity. From November to April snow may come, 
but it very seldom remains for more than a few 
days at a time; and thence till the close of summer 
short rain showers refresh the country. More than 
300 days in each year are either clear or partly clear. 
From July to November the sky is bright and 
cloudless, and the air is pure, sweet and exhilarat- 
ing. "An air more delicious to breathe cannot 
anywhere be found," says Bayard Taylor. This 
climate is favorable to health and vigor; and 
the pleasant region of the foothills is a great 
and beneficient sanitarium, especially for those 
who suffer from bronchial and pulmonary af- 
fections. These diseases are arrested in the dry, 
highland air, and many Eastern people now enjoy 
good health in Colorado who would have died 
had they remained in their old homes. It is impor- 
tant that invalids avoid high altitudes, and remain 
at the health resorts below the line of 7,500 feet. 
The electric air excites the nervous system of new- 
comers especially to a high tension, producing a sort 
of intoxication of good health, with keen appetites, 
perfect digestion and sound, refreshing sleep. 

Colorado is generously favored with health-pro- 
moting medicated mineral and thermal springs, 
nearly all of which are provided with hotels and 
bath houses. Five miles west of Colorado Springs 
lies the famous health resort of Manitou, with its 
soda, iron, seltzer, and sulphur springs, attracting 
thousands of persons a year to the adjacent hotels. 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



Idaho springs rush from the base of Santa Fe moun- 
tain, near the headwaters of Clear creek. There 
are both hot and cold waters, used in various forms 
of baths, and the analysis show ingredients like those 
of Carlsbad springs. This locality is much visited 
by consumptives and those suffering from rheuma- 
tism, who find healing in the medicinal fountains. 
Canon City, near the picturesque Grape Creek 
Canon and the Royal Gorge, has soda springs and 
hot springs. The Boulder saline water enjoys a large 
sale throughout America and Europe. Springdale, 
ten miles northwest of Boulder, has tonic iron 
waters. There are valuable springs at Morrison, a 
fashionable mountain resort twenty miles from Den- 
ver, and near Bear Canon and the Garden of the 
Angels. The Haywood and Cottonwood springs, 
near Buena Vista, are visited by thousands of 
health-seekers. In the narrow Wagon Wheel Gap, 
where the Upper Rio Grande roars down through a 
palisaded cleft in the mountains, are hot and cold 
soda and sulphur springs, with large hotels and bath 
houses. The soda springs near Leadville are under 
the shadow of the Saguache range. Poncha hot 
springs, near Salida, form a group of fifty-five 
sources of clear, odorless and tasteless water, with 
hotels and bath houses and great numbers of yearly 
visitors. Pagosa springs, between the Sierra San 
Juan and the grassy plains of New Mexico, bubble 
up in a great rocky basin, and supply purgative 
alkaline waters of high medicinal value. They have 
a temperature of 140 degrees, and the steam from 
the basin can be seen for miles in cool weather. 
Glenwood springs are ten in number, pouring out 
every minute 8,000 gallons of warm water, power- 
fully medicated, alkaline, saline, sulphurous and 
chalybeate, some of them in hot, vaporous caves near 
the Grand river, and others provided with swim- 
ming pools and bath houses. Shaw's magnetic 
springs are near Del Norte, in the San Luis valley. 
Trimble's hot springs and the Pinkerton springs are 
near Durango. The hot sulphur springs, six in 
number, boil out from the base of a cliif at the head 
of Troublesome canon, in Middle Park, and are 
provided with baths. South Park contains a group 
of saline and alkaline springs, and also Hartzell's 
hot sulphur springs. Steamboat springs, in Routt 
county, form a group of eighty hot fountains at the 
foot of the Park range. 

Prior to 1870 agriculture had not assumed com- 
manding proportions in Colorado, but since then it 
has advanced by leaps and bounds until at the pres- 
ent time, through the construction of vast irrigation 
systems, supplemented by water storage and the 



bringing under cultivation of extensive areas of pro- 
ductive land, tilling of the soil has become the domi- 
nating industry of the state. At this time the value 
of the products of the farms, orchards and gardens 
is more than double the value of the mineral pro- 
ductions of the state, so that agriculture is now far 
in the lead of mining so far as net financial results 
are concerned. Though there is a steady increase 
year by year in the value of mineral products, agri- 
culture has taken the lead and bids fair to hold it 
for all time to come. The aridity of the soil has 
been overcome by artificial irrigation, by whose aid 
nearly 4,000,000 acres have been brought under 
profitable cultivation, with the area increasing every 
year. It is estimated by the State Engineer that there 
are 10,000,000 acres of land in the state which can 
be brought under cultivation through irrigation. 
The irrigating canals which have their heads in the 
perennial mountain streams, are tapped by smaller 
lateral ditches leading to the higher slopes of the 
farms, and minor ditches reach the fields, which are 
in turn gridironed by plow furrows. When the 
crops need water, the head-gates of the laterals are 
opened and crystal streams flow down the field 
ditches, and are admitted into the furrows by taking 
away a shovelful of earth from each one. In a brief 
space of time the land is thoroughly moistened and 
the growing crops refreshed as from a prolonged 
rain. The moisture is controlled absolutely by the 
farmer and he can apply it to those fields and crops 
which most need it, and at the same time withhold 
in from fields and crops that have already been sup- 
plied with all they need. The state is divided into 
five irrigation divisions, each in charge of an expe- 
rienced engineer, and the divisions are sub-divided 
into water districts, each supervised by a water com- 
missioner. These officials, under the supervision of 
the State Engineer, distribute the waters according 
to priority rights. 

Stock-raising and stock-feeding have long been im- 
portant industries in the state. The grasses are 
nutritive and abundant, and horses, cattle and sheep 
thrive on dry alfalfa and native hay. The occupa- 
tion of the great plains by farmers has forced the 
large herds of cattle to new pastures elsewhere, and 
two-thirds of the live stock of the state are now on 
the farms, where agricultural and stock-raising in- 
terests are blended, as in the older states, and the 
animals are more carefully fed and looked after 
during the winter, thus minimizing the losses. Some 
of the finest cattle in the world are raised in Colo- 
rado — prize-winners at the international stock shows 
in Chicago. Wool growing is successfully carried 

[H] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



on in Colorado and yields handsome returns to the 
flock-masters. There are about 3,000,000 sheep in 
the state and from 12,000,000 to 15,000,000 pounds 
of wool are marketed in the East each year. About 
one million lambs are fed in the state every year for 
the Eastern markets. This industry, besides yielding 
the feeders a good profit one year after another, aids 
materially in preserving the fertility and promoting 
the productiveness of the soil. 

The early settlers of Colorado devoted almost 
their entire time and attention to mining, and enor- 
mous profits have since been realized from that in- 
dustry. The mountains west of the 105th meridian 
are branded with mineral veins of incalculable value, 
and the total bullion production of the state has 
reached the enormous sum of nearly $400,000,000. 
During the golden age of Colorado, silver mining 
was not much heeded, but between the years 1880 
and 1893 it turned out annually four times as much 
silver as gold. Now, however, more than twice as 
much gold as silver is produced annually by the 
mines of Colorado. 

The coal fields of the state cover 40,000 square 
miles, the measures running all the way from two 
to sixty feet in thickness. The output of coal rose 
from 8,000 tons in 1869 to nearly 12,000,000 tons 
in 1909. Much of the Colorado coal is bituminous, 
but large areas of pure anthracite have been opened 
at Crested Butte, New Castle and in Routt county. 
Lignite beds follow the eastern base of the moun- 
tains for 250 miles. Since the early '80s petroleum 
has been one of the important productions of the 
state, and the volume is steadily increasing. 

Extensive quarrying industries have been built up 
in recent years and immense quantities of building 
and paving material and flagging for sidewalks and 
basement floors are annually wrenched from their 
resting places in the hills and made to perform serv- 
ice in advancing the onward march of civilization. 
Sandstones, granite and marble are found in great 
variety in the foothills. Marble occurs in white, 
black, pink and variegated colors in various portions 
of the state. Larimer county has inexhaustible quar- 
ries of red and gray sandstone ; also of marble and 
granite. The walls of some of the finest buildings 
in Denver are constructed of Larimer county granite. 

The State capitol in Denver is a handsome mod- 
ern building, of Colorado granite, erected at a cost 
of more than $2,000,000. The state institutions in- 
clude the Insane Asylum at Pueblo; the School for 
the Education of the Mute and Blind at Colorado 
Springs; the Penitentiary at Canon City; the State 
Reformatory at Buena Vista; the State Industrial 

[12] 



School for boys at Golden; the State Industrial 
School for girls at Morrison, and the Soldiers' Home 
at Monte Vista. 

The public schools of Colorado are of high grade, 
comparing favorably with those of the most ad- 
vanced of the older states. More than 3,000,000 
acres of land have been set apart as an endowment 
for the public schools, and the State school in- 
come fund is yearly increasing in amount. One 
State Normal School has been in operation in 
Greeley for fifteen years, and another one, lo- 
cated on the Western slope, has been authorized 
by the Legislature. The University of Colorado, 
located at Boulder, was opened in 1877. The 
State School of Mines has a home at Golden, 
and the State Agricultural College at Fort Col- 
lins. These are all large, well equipped and 
flourishing institutions with a steadily increasing en- 
rollment of students. In addition to these State edu- 
cational institutions, there are the Presbyterian Col- 
lege of the Southwest at Del Norte, Westminster 
College at Denver (also a Presbyterian school), the 
Denver University, a Methodist institution; the 
Baptist Woman's College at Montclair, near Den- 
ver; Colorado College at Colorado Springs, and the 
Jesuit College, north of Denver, all of them well 
supported. Wolf Hall is a flourishing Episcopal 
school at Denver. The National Government main- 
tains an Indian School at Grand Junction. Two 
United States military posts are maintained in Colo- 
rado, the chief of which is Fort Logan, near Den- 
ver. The other is Fort Lewis, near Durango, and 
guards the Ignacio Ute Reservation. The old 
frontier stronghold. Fort Lyons, in the Arkansas 
valley, was abandoned in 1890. 

The railways of Colorado are famous for their 
bold engineering and their wonderful achievements 
in the passage of lofty mountains and unparalleled 
gorges. They were for the most part built in ad- 
vance of population, and the rapid growth of the 
state is in part due to their agency. Six great rail- 
way transportation lines cross the Plains and enter 
the state from the east, and they are the Atchison, 
Topeka & Santa Fe, the Missouri Pacific, the 
Rock Island & Pacific, the Kansas Pacific, the 
Burlington and the Union Pacific. In addition to 
these the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul and the 
Chicago & Northwestern operate through passen- 
ger car service from Chicago to Denver over the 
Union Pacific tracks, so that in reality one has the 
choice of eight lines in going east from Denver or in 
com.ing west. The first railroad built in Colorado 
was the Denver Pacific, extending from Denver 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



north to Cheyenne, Wyoming, a distance of 106 
miles. It was opened for traffic June 22nd, 1870. 
The Kansas Pacific was completed to Denver in 
August of that year. At the present time the total 
railway mileage of Colorado is 5,360.31. A tele- 
graph line was established from Omaha to Jules- 
burg, on its way across the continent, in 1861. Two 
years later, in October, 1863, a branch line was 
completed to Denver, thus putting the capital city 
of Colorado in direct communication by wire with 
the East. In 1865 the line was extended from Den- 
ver to Salt Lake, via Fort Collins and Virginia 
Dale, and Denver became the repeating station for 
California dispatches. 

The cities of Colorado having a population of 
3,000 and over are Aspen, Boulder, Canon City, 
Central City, Colorado Springs, Cripple Creek, 
Denver, Durango, Florence, Fort Collins, Grand 
Junction, Greeley, Leadville, Loveland, Pueblo, Sa- 
lida, Trinidad and Victor. Denver, founded in 1858, 
has a population rising 213,000. The United States 
census, taken this year (1910), will probably show a 
number of cities other than these given herewith that 
have populations exceeding 3,000. The population 
of Colorado in 1861 was 25,329, four-fifths of which 
were men. It is expected that the federal census for 
this year (1910) will show a population in Colorado 
of nearly, if not quite, one million. 

The first Territorial Legislature, which met in 
Denver September 9th, 1861, divided the Territory 
into seventeen counties and three judicial districts. 
The names of the counties created at that time were 
Costilla, Conejos, Huerfano, Pueblo, Fremont, El 
Paso, Douglas, Arapahoe, Weld, Larimer, Boulder, 
Jefferson, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Park, Lake, Sum- 
mit. Laporte was named in the act as the county 
seat of Larimer county, and the county was assigned 
to the First judicial district, with Benjamin F. Hall 
as Judge. At present there are sixty counties in the 
state and nineteen judicial districts. 

The first bank in Colorado was opened in 1862, 
and in 1865 the First National Bank of Denver 
came into existence. 

The geological history of Colorado is concerned 
mainly with the gradual upheaval of the great conti- 
nental mountain range from beneath the sea. Be- 
ginning with the emergence of the Sierra Madre 
from the waste of waves, this uplifting of land ad- 
vanced northward ; and the Sierra San Juan of Colo- 
rado is probably the most ancient section of firm 
ground on this side of the Republic. Later the other 
ranges slowly appeared above the sea, the Sangre de 
Cristo and Sierra Mojada, and finally the front 



range. For ages the waves of the ocean beat against 
the steep western declivities; and the more gradual 
eastern slopes^were formed from the deposits washed 
down from the peaks into the shallow water on that 
side. The mountain walls enclosed many lakes of 
salt water, which finally drained off through the 
canons, leaving the broad basins of the parks for the 
homes of the coming empire. 

"Colorado is the flower of a peculiarly Western 
civilization, in which is mingled the best blood of 
the North and the South, the virile sap of New 
England and the CaroHnas — a truly American 
state." 

Physical Features of Colorado 

The physical features of Colorado, which, of 
course, includes Larimer County, are tersely pre- 
sented in the history of Colorado, written by Hubert 
Howe Bancroft, the eminent historian. He- says : 

"In the gradual upheaval of the continent from 
a deep sea submersion, the great Sierra Madre, or 
Northern range, of Old Mexico first divided the 
waters, and presented a wall to the ocean on the 
west side. The San Juan range of Colorado is an 
extension of the Sierra Madre, and the oldest land 
in this part of the continent. Then at intervals far 
apart rose the Sangre de Cristo range, the Mojada 
or Greenhorn range, and lastly the Colorado, 
called the Front range because it is first seen from 
the east; and northeast from this the shorter up- 
heavals of Wind River and the Black Hills, each, 
as it lies nearer or farther from the main Rocky 
range, being more or less recent. 

"The longer slope and greater accessibility of the 
mountains on the eastern acclivity has come from 
the gradual wash and spreading out of the detrition 
of these elevations in comparatively shallow water, 
while yet the ocean thundered at the western base 
of the northern range. The salt water enclosed by 
the barrier of the Rocky Mountains, and subdivided 
afterward by the later upheavals into lesser seas, 
were carried off through the canons which their 
own mighty force, aided by other activities of 
Nature, and by some of her weaknesses, opened for 
them. For uncounted ages the fresh water of the 
land flowed into these inland seas, and purged them 
of their saline flavor, washing the salts and alkalies 
into the bed of the ocean on the west, where after 
the emergence of the Sierra Nevada, and the eleva- 
tion of the intervening mountains of the great basin, 
they largely remained, having no outlet. Gradual 
elevation and evaporation, with glacial action, com- 



[13] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



pleted the general shaping of the country. Subse- 
quent elemental and volcanic action has left it with 
four parallel mountain ranges, from which shoot 
132 peaks, ranging from 12,000 to 14,500 feet 
above the sea level, and from 9,000 to 10,000 feet 
above the general level of the State, with many 
lesser ones ; with large elevated valleys, called parks, 
walled about with majestic heights, covered with 
luxuriant grasses, threaded by streams of the purest 
water, beautified by lakes and dotted with groups 
of trees, with narrow, fertile valleys skirting 
numerous small rivers, fringed with cottonwood and 
willows; with nobler rivers rushing through rents 
in the solid mountains thousands of feet in depth, 
and decorated by time and weather, with carvings 
such as no human agency could ever have designed, 
their wild imagery softened by blended tones of 
color in harmony with the blue sky, the purple gray 
shadows and the clinging moss and herbage; with 
forests of pine, fir, spruce, aspen and other trees, 
covering the mountain sides up to a height of 
10,000 or 12,000 feet; with wastes of sand at the 
western base of the Snovyy range, or main chain, and 
arid mesas in the southeast, where everything is 
stunted except enormous cacti, with grassy plains 
sloping to the east, made gay with an indigenous 
flower, and other grassy slopes extending to the 
mountains toward the west, each with its own dis- 
tinctive features. It is, above all, a mountainous 
country, and with all its streams, which are numer- 
ous, it is a dry one. In the summer many of its 
seeming water courses are merely arroyas — dry 
creek beds; others contain some water flowing in 
channels cut twenty or more feet down through 
yellow clay to a bed of shale, and still others run 
through canons with narrow bottoms supporting 
rich grass, willow, thorn, cherry, currant and plum 
trees. Sloping up from these may be a stretch of 
rolling country covered sparsely with low, spread- 
ing cedars, or a tableland with colonies of prairie 
dogs scattered over it, and moving upon it (in the 
early days) herds of wild horses, buffaloes, deer and 
antelope. Up in the mountains are meadows, hav- 
ing in their midst beaver dams, overgrown with 
aspens and little brooks trickling from them. Sev- 
eral other fur-bearing animals are here also. In 
still other localities are fine trout streams, and game 
about them is abundant, elk, mountain sheep, bears, 
lynxes, wolves, panthers, pumas, wildcats, grouse, 
pheasants, ptarmigans and birds of various kinds 
having their habitat there." 

Numerous canons open on to the Plains from the 
mountains in Larimer County, the more important 

[14] 



of which are the canons of the Big Thompson and' 
Cache la Poudre rivers, which were cut through 
the hills for the waters to flow in the early infancy 
of this world. So many aspects have these canons 
that any mood may be satisfied in regarding their 
varied features. Their walls have a width between 
them ranging from one to two hundred feet, the 
rock being stratified, and continuing for miles. In 
places they rise one, two and three thousand feet, 
with level summits, surmounted by second walls of 
prodigious height. But then figures represent only 
height and depth; they convey no impression of the 
gorges themselves, which sometimes narrow down to 
the width of the stream, and all is gloom and 
grandeur, and again they broaden out into beautiful 
parks and meadows with waterfalls dashing down 
between inclosing walls, trees growing out of the 
clefts, huge rocks grouped fantastically about, 
curious plants sheltering in their shadows, and the 
brilliant, strong current of the stream darting down 
in swift green chutes between the spume-flecked 
boulders, dancing in creamy eddies, struggling to 
tumble headlong down some sparkling cataract, 
making the prismatic air resound with the soft tinkle 
as of merry laughter. Again, they surge along in 
half shadows, rushing as if blinded against massive 
abutments of rock, to be dashed into spray, gliding 
thereafter more smoothly, as if rebuked for their 
previous haste, but always full of light, life and 
motion. The grandeur, beauty and variety of the 
views these canons make doubly interesting the re- 
flection that through these gorges poured the waters 
of that great primal sea which spread over Eastern. 
Colorado. No pen can fully describe and no brush 
adequately picture the sublimity and exquisite charm 
of these great rents in the mountains. Every turn 
of the stream presents a new view until the eye tires 
and the brain wearies beholding them. Up through 
these narrow gorges roads have been blasted out of 
the solid rock in many places, over which carriages 
and automobiles pass to and fro, giving sight-seers 
an opportunity at the smallest expenditure of 
physical exercise to penetrate their sublime recesses 
and feast their eyes on the grandeurs and beauties 
there presented. 

On the east side of the great divide, the South 
Platte river, with about forty tributaries, including 
the Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson rivers, 
rises well up among the peaks of the Front, or Colo- 
rado range, all flowing north, northeast and easterly, 
drains a large extent of country, while the North 
Platte, rising in the Park range, drains the whole 
of the North Park toward the north. The Arkan- 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



sas river, with its sixty or more tributaries, some of 
which are of considerable volume, drains a large 
portion of the territory south of the divide between 
the South Platte and Arkansas valleys. It heads in 
the high region of the Saguache range, interlacing 
with springs of the Grand river, quite as the Colum- 
bia and Missouri rise near each other farther north. 
Republican river, an affluent of the Kansas, itself 
having four tributaries, flows northeast down the 
long descent to its union with the main stream, near 
its junction with the Missouri ; and in the south the 
Rio Grande del Norte, starting from the summit of 
the same range which feeds the Gunnison branch of 
Grand river on the opposite side, flows towards the 
Gulf of Mexico. These streams form the river sys- 
tem of the eastern slope of Colorado. With all of 
its numerous streams, Colorado is a dry country. 
Her air has little humidity in it. The summer heat 
of the Plains is excessive by day, but owing to the 
altitude the nights, even in midsummer, are cool. 
The summer mean temperature ranges from 64.6 
degrees to 69.2 degrees, and the winter mean from 
31.3 degrees to 32.8 degrees. The maximum heat 
of summer ranges from 93 degrees to 99 degrees, 
with from six to thirty days above 90 degrees, and 
the minimum of winter from 3 degrees to 12 de- 
grees, with from six to ten days when the mercury 
is below zero, which gives an extreme range for the 
year from 96 degrees to 110 degrees. The annual 
rainfall in Larimer County, as measured at the 
State Agricultural College in Fort Collins, averages 
about 14 inches. 

Indian Tribes of Colorado 

Previous to the occupation of Colorado by the 
whites, the Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians held 
almost complete dominion over the Plains country 
for many miles to the east of the mountains, espe- 
cially that section watered by the Platte and its 
tributaries. The Arapahoes made their home near 
the present site of the City of Denver. Here they 
conducted a sort of a fair, exchanging articles pro- 
cured from the Spanish on the south for furs from 
the north. The word Arapahoe is said to mean "he 
who buys or trades." As the Cache la Poudre valley 
seems to have been their favorite hunting grounds 
they spent a good part of the hunting season along 
the river and their tepees were familiar sights to the 
early explorers and emigrants. Their camping 
grounds were mainly on both sides of the river near 
the mouth of the Boxelder creek and at or near 
Laporte. Antoine Janis says he found 150 lodges 



of them at Laporte when he located there in 1844. 
A brief sketch of the history of these tribes, so far as 
it is known, is herewith given. It is taken mainly 
from Randall Parrish's story of the Great Plains. 
The writer says : 

"Leaving the valley of the Missouri and moving 
westward to the eastern and southern base of the 
Black Hills, the traveler entered the country of the 
Cheyennes, who were of Algonquin stock. How 
long this people occupied that district, or from 
whence they came, is uncertain. That they were 
kindred to the Arapahoes seems probable, and as 
early as 1820 many of the tribe seceded and joined 
the other. By 1840 all the remainder had moved 
south, whence they also became affiliated with their 
kindred. Misfortune had made of them wanderers, 
but they were always a virile race, magnificent 
horsemen and superb warriors. While ever at war 
with the Utes who were known as mountain In- 
dians, with the whites they were usually at peace, 
although when they took the war-path they proved 
dangerous enemies. Their principal traffic was in 
horses, and their trade led them to become great 
travelers across the prairies. Closely associated with 
them in the earliest days of white exploration were 
the Kiowas, who were also a Plains tribe. For many 
years the Kiowa warriors roamed freely over the en- 
tire Arapahoe and Comanche country, extending 
from the South Platte to the Brazos. Their favorite 
rendezvous seems to have been the valley of the Ar- 
kansas near the mouth of the Purgatoire river. The 
Kiowas were little known by name in the early fur 
trade, but probably many an atrocity charged to the 
Comanches or Arapahoes was really committed by 
these wanderers. A late authority refers to them as 
being 'the most predatory and blood-thirsty' of all 
the prairie tribes. They have probably killed more 
white men in proportion to their numbers than any 
of the others." 

I have not been able to learn that the Arapahoes 
ever committed any serious depredations or cruel 
atrocities upon the white settlers of Larimer County 
beyond the stealing of horses and running them off 
when they thought they would not be found out. 
They seemed disposed to be friendly and peaceable 
toward the whites. Their Chief, Friday, was an 
educated man, having been taken to St. Louis when 
a boy and sent to school, where he acquired a knowl- 
edge of books and a wholesome appreciation of the 
numbers, strength and power of the white race. He 
could read and write and converse quite intelligently 
upon most subjects. He had a kindly regard for the 
white people, being wise enough to know that they 

[15] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



belonged to a superior race who would eventually 
possess and control his country. He gravely ac- 
cepted the situation and his denneanor toward the 
whites had a marked influence over his tribe. 

"There was a report," says Maj. Frank Hall in 
his excellent history of Colorado, "that the Arapa- 
hoes were descended from the Blackfeet; that a 
hunting party accompanied by their families came 
down from the north to the Platte about eighty-five 
years ago, and being cut off by a severe snow storm, 
wintered near the present site of Denver. The 
season in this latitude being mild and pleasant, the 
country abounding in game, and generally a better 
region to live in than the one they had left, they de- 
cided to remain. How much truth there may be in 
the story, if any, we are unable to say. We found 
them here and know that they roamed the Plains 
in large numbers from the country of the Pawnees 
to the base of the mountains and down into the val- 
ley of the Arkansas river." 

In 1861 the Cheyennes and Arapahoes ceded to 
the Government all their lands east of the moun- 
tains, which included the eastern part of Larimer 
County. The Indians soon afterwards repudiated 
the treaty and combining with other Plains tribes, 
entered upon and waged a vicious war against the 
whites which continued for several years. In the 
summer of 1864 mail communication with the East 
was cut off; mail bags containing letters, money, 
drafts, land patents, newspapers and other miscel- 
laneous matter were cut open and their contents 
scattered over the prairie. But one station was left 
standing on the Overland stage route for a distance 
of 120 miles. Trains were robbed, emigrants killed 
and it was estimated that there was not more than 
six weeks' supply of food in the Territory. For 
thirty days there had been no mail from the East. 
No stages or emigrants or supply trains were al- 
lowed to move except under escort. The situation 
was really critical. Caravans conveying merchan- 
dise and food supplies from the Missouri river to 
Denver and other Colorado towns, all that were on 
the way for hundreds of miles, were seized, their 
conductors killed and the property appropriated. 
Early in September, the hundred days' regiment was 
completed and dispatched by Colonel Chivington to 
points on the Overland route to open communica- 
tions; while a portion of the home-guard under 
Henry M. Teller, Major General of the militia, 
patroled the road between Denver and Julesburg, 
the First Colorado cavalry being employed chiefly 
on the Arkansas. These prompt and active move- 
ments on the part of the military authorities pro- 

[16] 



duced two results, the opening of communications 
with the Missouri river late in October, and the 
surrender of a small portion of the Cheyenne and 
Aparahoe tribes, who had hitherto refused to make 
a permanent treaty with the Superintendent of In- 
dian affairs. When the outbreak first occurred. 
Governor Evans issued a proclamation to the 
friendly Indians to repair to posts which he named, 
to be taken care of by the agents. In response to 
the invitation 175 Arapahoes, under Chief Friday, 
took up their residence at Fort Collins where they 
remained until the trouble was over. These In- 
dians were camped part of the time on the Coy 
farm and part of the time on the Sherwood farm. 
F. W. Sherwood was commissioned by President 
Lincoln to supply Chief Friday and his band with 
food while they were here. 

The following story of a tragedy which occurred 
between two quarrelsome Indians is told by Mrs. 
Varah A. Armstrong of this city, a daughter of the 
late Captain Geoorge E. Buss : 

"In the early winter, closing the year 1866, Chief 
Friday's band of Arapahoes, consisting of a few 
lodges, lived a few rods up the river from the 
Sherwood ranch. A much larger band of Chey- 
ennes camped on top of the bluff across the river, 
near the home of 'Ranger' Jones. They were led 
by a chief named Spotted Tail. 

"Friday had a son whom he called Jake, a hot- 
headed, quarrelsome fellow, with a keen appetite 
for bad whiskey. He and some of the other young 
braves visited the Cheyenne camp, got into a quar- 
rel and Jake killed Spotted Tail. 

"Thus, for a brief time, the few settlers were 
menaced by the horrors of an Indian war, but Fri- 
day, knowing that he could not hope to win, told 
his son to go away, which he did, taking his three 
wives with him. 

"A few days after the tragedy, my father was 
building a log barn and he borrowed a cross-cut 
saw, with which he and my mother were cutting 
out the doorway. Three or four Cheyennes came 
down and sat around watching operations. My 
father told my mother to stop and he signed for 
one of the Indians to take hold of the handle, and 
the Son of the Wilds made a very fair hand for the 
short time that it took to finish the job. When 
they stopped to rest, my father said, 'What did you 
do with Spotted Tail?' The Indian stooped, and 
with his hand scooped out a little hollow in the soil 
to show that they had buried him, and my mother 
said there were tears in his eyes. 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



"The next June, when the river was an im- 
passable torrent, one day the Jones signaled for 
the boat that was kept for use by the two families. 
A little Crow Indian boy was frantically waving 
his blanket, and when he had been ferried across, 
and considered himself safe from pursuit, he told 
Friday's band how he had been held as a slave by 
Jake and his wives; how the party had started to 
return to the home camping grounds on the Poudre, 
of their seeing another band of Indians in the dis- 
tance ; of Jake waving a white flag to which the 
advancing party paid no attention. When they 
were near enough to recognize their quarry, they 
began singing the death song. The little Crow 
knew what that meant. All started to flee. One 
of Jake's wives rode a lazy pony and begged the 
little Crow to run behind and whip the horse, but 
he was intent on saving himself, which he suc- 
ceeded in doing. It is quite possible the Cheyennes 
did not try to capture him after taking vengeance 
on Jake and his family. As no other word ever 
came to the Poudre country, it is not known in 
what way they met their deaths. It must always 
be one of the secrets of 'The Lone Prairie.' " 

The Cheyennes and Arapahoes hated the Utes 
with bitter hatred, and the latter just as intensely 
hated the former tribes. The Cheyennes and 
Arapahoes were Plains tribes and the Utes a Moun- 
tain tribe. The Plains Indians could do nothing 
except on horseback; the Utes, though owning 
and valuing ponies, was essentially a foot tribe. A 
single Indian of either tribe on his own ground 
counted himself equal to three of his enemies. The 
Utes sometimes wandered on the Plains raiding the 
camps of their enemies and driving off their ponies 
when they thought the situation and condition 
favorable, but it was with fear and trembling. 
The Plains Indians seldom ventured at all into any 
country so broken as to prevent them operating to 
advantage on horseback. Though constantly at 
war with each other, few were killed in their bat- 
tles, because neither would venture far into the 
domain of the other. 

Speaking of the Indian trouble of 1864-5, Gen- 
eral Frank Hall in his history of Colorado says: 
"On one occasion a merchandise train was attacked 
on the Cache la Poudre emigrant road near the 
Colorado line, the men attending it killed, and the 
train destroyed. One of the attaches was cap- 
tured alive, and after being cruelly tortured was 
bound with chains to a wagon wheel, his arms and 
legs stretched out, large quantities of brush piled 
up around him and fired. As the flames executed 



their hellish purpose, the Indians danced and 
howled about him in savage glee until he was 
burned to a cinder." 

The Trappers the True Pathfinders 

Most of the operations of the organized fur com- 
panies were carried on in the West through traders 
and trappers located at central points in Western 
Wyoming and Eastern Idaho. They had extensive 
headquarters, depots and camps on Green, Snake 
and Yellowstone rivers at which they carried on 
an enormous trade with the Indians and from 
which these trappers were sent out into the moun- 
tain wilds to snare beaver and other fur-bearing 
animals. Yet there Is much in the records pre- 
served, incomplete and defective as they are, in con- 
nection with other evidence, which go to prove that 
every important stream in Larimer County had 
been explored and worked by Independent trappers 
as early as in the first half of the nineteenth cen- 
tury. Remains of their camps and cabins were 
found on the borders of these streams by the early 
settlers, and Fremont declares in his report of his 
second expedition that he expected to find trappers 
who were known to have been In this region, to act 
as guides in conducting him through the passes of 
the mountains west of here, but that they had all 
disappeared, having probably been killed by the In- 
dians. Referring to these trappers, Randall Par- 
rish, in his Interesting work on the "Great Plains," 
says: 

"While the Government was virtually neglecting 
this western region of the plains, private enterprise 
had been slowly prying open its secrets, and indi- 
viduals were finding their uncertain way along its 
water-courses, or across Its sun-browned prairie. 
The fur trade was the powerful magnet which thus 
early drew westward hardy adventurers by the 
score. Very few of the names of those who first 
trod the plains have been preserved even upon the 
records of the great fur companies. They were 
generally obscure, illiterate men, possessing little 
except their rifles and traps, living for long years in 
the depths of the wilderness, only occasionally ap- 
pearing amid the haunts of pioneer civilization with 
their packs of furs. Sometimes they traveled in in- 
dependent parties for protection against Indian 
treachery; some were free trappers, others were en- 
rolled upon the lists of organized fur companies and 
worked under orders. In either case they neces- 
sarily had hard, wild lives, continually filled with 
adventure and personal peril. These men, roughly 

[17] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



clothed, living on game, their safety constantly 
menaced, were the true western pathfinders, dig- 
ging continuously deeper year by year into the vast 
wilderness, and from their ranks came those com- 
petent guides who were later to lead organized ex- 
peditions to the Western ocean. During the forty 
years following the purchase of Louisiana by the 
United States the people of the East possessed 
hardly the slightest conception of its immense 
value. The one considerable commercial attrac- 
tion it offered during this period was its wealth of 
furs, and during nearly half a century this was its 
sole business of importance. In the language of 
Chittenden, introducing his history of the Ameri- 
can fur trade: 

"The nature of the business determined the 
character of the early white population. It was 
the roving trader and the solitary white trapper 
who first sought out these inhospitable wilds, traced 
their streams to their sources, scaled the mountain 
passes, and explored a boundless expanse of terri- 
tory where the foot of white man had never 
trodden before. The far west became a field of 
romantic adventure, and developed a class of men 
who loved the wandering career of the native in- 
habitant rather than the toilsome lot of the indus- 
trious colonists. The type of life thus developed, 
though essentially evanescent and not representing 
any profound national movement, was nevertheless 
a distinct and necessary phase in the growth of this 
new country. Abounding in incidents picturesque 
and heroic, its annals inspire an interest akin to that 
which belongs to the age of knight-errantry, for the 
fur hunter of the west was, in his rough way, a 
good deal of a knight-errant. Caparisoned in the 
wild attire of the Indian and armed cap-a-pie for 
instant combat, he roamed far and wide over 
deserts and mountains, gathering the scattered 
wealth of those regions, slaying ferocious beasts 
and savage men, and leading a life in which every 
footstep was beset with enemies and every moment 
pregnant with peril. The great proportion of these 
intrepid spirits who laid down their lives in that 
far country is impressive proof of the jeopardy of 
their existence. All in all, the period of this ad- 
venturous business may justly be considered the 
romantic era of the west. 

"So valuable was this preliminary work in ex- 
ploration that the historian of the movement is 
fully justified in the statement that these often un- 
known men were the true pathfinders, and not the 
official explorers who came later, yet have been ac- 
corded the proud title. Nothing in western 

[18] 



geography was ever discovered by government ex- 
plorations after 1840. It was every mile of it 
known previously to trader and trapper. Brlgham 
Young was led to the valley of the Great Salt Lake 
by information furnished by men like Jim Baker, 
Jim Bridger, Kit Carson and their colleagues; in 
the war with Mexico the military forces were 
guided by those who knew every trail and moun- 
tain pass; they were veterans of the fur trade who 
pointed Fremont the way to the Pacific, and when 
the rush of emigration finally set in toward Ore- 
gon and California the very earliest of these trav- 
elers found already made for them a highway 
across the continent." 

A Story of Colorado Told in Short 
Paragraphs 

The first American (Anglo-Saxon) who ven- 
tured into the wilds of Colorado, then a part of 
Louisiana Territory, was James Pursley (or Pur- 
cell), a Kentuckian, who spent some time on the 
Plains and in the mountains in 1804 or about that 
time. 

The first United States officer to lead an expe- 
dition to Colorado was Captain Pike. They trav- 
eled up the Arkansas valley and penetrated the 
Rockies in 1806-7. 

The first white men (American citizens) who 
traversed the site of Denver, in 1820, were Dr. 
Edwin James and other members of Long's expe- 
dition. 

The first men to scale the summit of Pike's Peak 
were James and two companions, who tramped to 
the top July 14, 1820. The first woman to ascend 
the peak was Mrs. Julia A. Holmes, in July, 1858. 

The first house built by whites was erected by 
Maj. Jacob Fowler and other trappers near 
Pueblo, Jan. 3-5, 1822. 

The first permanent white settler in Colorado 
was William Bent, who, in 1824, had temporary 
quarters about twenty miles west of the present site 
of Pueblo; he founded a trading post there in 1826. 

The first fort was built, in 1828-32, by the Bent 
brothers and Ceran St. Vrain on the Arkansas 
river. It was called Bent's fort, and stood about 
half way between the present towns of Las Animas 
and La Junta. In 1852 it was destroyed by its 
owner. Col. William Bent. 

The first settlement or trading post at the forks 
where Pueblo stands was made in 1842 by James 
P. Beckworth (a noted frontiersman) and a num- 
ber of trappers and hunters — Americans, French 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



and Mexicans — who built a rude adobe structure, 
sometimes called "Fort Napeste" and the "The 
Pueblo." The place had a floating population for 
a dozen years. 

The first American settler in Northwestern Colo- 
rado was Jim Baker, of Illinois, who came to the 
Rocky Mountain country about 1836 and erected a 
log cabin, in the early '40s, near the north border 
of Routt county. 

The first military post for United States troops in 
Colorado was Fort Massachusetts, a log affair at 
the base of Sierra Blanca, established in 1852. Fort 
Garland was built nearby in 1858. 

The first party of gold seekers who prospected 
Colorado within the memory of men was that of 
the Cherokees, who are said to have looked for 
placer gold along the Cache la Poudre, near the 
foot of the mountains, in August, 1849. To these 
Cherokees belongs the credit of originating the so- 
called Green-Russell expedition that discovered 
float gold near the site of Denver in the month of 
July, 1858. 

The first important discovery of gold was made 
by a party of Georgians led by Russell, in July, 
1858. They prospected Fountain creek. Cherry 
creek, the South Platte river and other streams. 
They obtained about $500 worth of gold dust in 
the sands of the Platte and Dry creek, a little 
distance south of Denver. The camp of prospectors 
and miners that grew up near the confluence of 
Cherry creek and the Platte was the beginning of 
Denver. 

The first discovery of silver by Americans, in 
1860, was made in Clear Creek County. The first 
paying silver mine was the Piquot Belmont lode on 
Mount McClellan, discovered and opened in Sep- 
tember, 1864, by Robert W. Steele, James Huif 
and Robert Layton. 

The first hostelry, called the "Denver House," 
was put up early in 1859. It was constructed of 
Cottonwood logs, and had at the start a canvas roof. 

The first child claiming Denver as its native 
place was William D. McGaa, born March 3, 
1859. 

The first stage reached Denver May 7, 1859. It 
was a big Concord coach, drawn by a six-mule 
team. It came from Leavenworth via Fort Riley, 
across the heads of Beaver, Bijou and Kiowa 
creeks. The length of the stage route then was 
687 miles; fare $100, meals included. 

The first attempt at political organization was 
the provisional government of the "Territory of 
Jefferson," called into being in November, 1859. 



This spontaneous commonwealth had a brief exist- 
ence, being superseded by Colorado Territory in 
1861. 

The first Governor of Colorado Territory was 
William Gilpin, of Missouri, who was appointed by 
President Lincoln March 22, 1861. 

The first Federal census of the Territory was 
taken in the summer of 1861, showing a population 
of 25,331. 

The first sawmill was built on Plum creek, not 
far from Denver, by D. C. Oakes, late in the 
spring of 1859. 

The first frame house put up in Denver was 
built for the residence of "Uncle Dick" Wooton in 
the summer of 1859. 

The first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of 
the new Territory was Benjamin F. Hall, ap- 
pointed March 25, 1861. 

The first Superintendent of Public Instruction 
was William J. Curtice, appointed by Governor 
Gilpin in 1861. 

The first delegate to represent Colorado in Con- 
gress was Hiram P. Bennet. 

The first session of the first legislative assem- 
bly was held in the fall of 1861 at Denver. 

The first seventeen counties of Colorado Terri- 
tory were Arapahoe, Boulder, Clear Creek, Cone- 
jos, Costilla, Douglas, El Paso, Fremont, Gilpin, 
Huerfano, Jefferson, Lake, Larimer, Park, Pueblo, 
Summit and Weld. These counties were created 
by act of the First Territorial Legislature, ap- 
proved Nov. 1, 1861. 

The first capital was Colorado City. The Terri- 
torial Legislature met there four days in 1862, and 
then adjourned to Denver. 

The first flag was made by the patriotic women 
of Denver for the First Colorado regiment of volun- 
teers, organized in 1861. 

The first private school was opened by Prof. O. 
J. Goldrick, Oct. 3, 1859, with thirteen children. 
The pupils, two of them half-breeds, gathered in a 
little log cabin on the west bank of Cherry creek. 
Miss Indiana Sopris was Denver's first "school- 
marm." 

The first schoolhouse proper was a one-room 
frame building erected at Boulder in 1860. The 
organized public school system of Colorado had its 
beginning in 1861. 

The first meeting of the Colorado Teachers' As- 
sociation was held in 1875. 

The first school of higher learning was "Colo- 
rado Seminary," opened in 1864. That was the 



[19] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



beginning of the University of Denver. The same 
year Loretto Academy was started. 

The first school of the University of Colorado 
was opened in Boulder, in 1875. 

The first newspaper appeared at Denver, April 
23, 1859. 

The first daily was the Rocky Mountain Herald. 
The first number was published May 13, 1860. 

The first Denver theater was opened in Apollo 
Hall, October, 1859. 

The first Denver jail was a log cabin on the 
west side of Cherry creek. It was rented by the 
Sheriff for the purpose, and prisoners were first 
confined in it about Jan. 1, 1862. 

The first Masonic lodge was started in Denver 
in January, 1859. 

The first Mayor of Denver was Charles A. Cook. 
The city was incorporated Nov. 18, 1861. 

The first irrigation in Colorado was done by 
David K. Wall at Golden, in 1859. 

The first crop of alfalfa was raised in 1863 on 
the ranch of Capt. Jacob Downing, who got the 
seed from Mexico. 

The first grasshopper plague was in 1864. 

The first telegraph line was completed to Denver 
April 17, 1863. 

The First National bank was organized at Den- 
ver April 17, 1865. 

The first bridge over the Platte was built in 
1865. It stood near the mouth of Cherry creek. 

The first meeting of the Pioneers' Association, 
composed only of the immigrants of 1858 and 1859, 
was held June 22, 1866. 

The first smelter was opened at Black Hawk in 
January, 1868. 

The first German colony was planted in the 
Wet Mountain valley in 1870. 

The first extensive irrigation system was con- 
structed by the Union colonists near Greeley, be- 
tween 1870 and 1875. 

The first railroad, the Denver Pacific, was built 
from Cheyenne to Denver, in 1870. The first train 
of the Kansas Pacific entered the Queen City of the 
Plains on Aug. 15, 1870. 

The first rail of the Denver & Rio Grande was 
laid July 28, 1871. 

The first street car was set in motion at Denver 
Dec. 17, 1871. Horse cars were superseded by 
cable and trolley lines in 1888 and 1889. 

The first gas works were erected at Denver in 
1870. Electric lights were introduced in 1880. 

[20] 



The first notable discovery of cliflE dwellings was 
made in 1874 by W. H. Jackson and his compan- 
ions, of the Hayden Geological Survey. 

The first election for State officers was held Oct. 
3, 1876. 

The first Governor of the Centennial state was 
John L. Routt. 

The first State Legislature met at Denver, Nov. 
1, 1876. 

The first member of Congress from Colorado was 
James B. Bel ford. 

The first Senators were Jerome B. Chaffee and 
Henry M. Teller. 

The first passenger train ascended Pike's Peak, 
June 30, 1891. 

The first specimens of the purple columbine were 
gathered on the Divide by soldiers of Long's expe- 
dition in July, 1820. It became the State flower 
in 1890. 

The first Colorado sugar factory was erected at 
Grand Junction in 1899. The same year a sugar 
factory was built at Rocky Ford. 

The first Flag day was celebrated by the public 
schools of Denver on June 14, 1894. 

The first celebration of Colorado day was held 
on Aug. 1, 1908, the thirty-second anniversary of 
the admission of the Centennial State. 

The first Catholic church in what is now Colo- 
rado was built on the Conejos river, in 1858. The 
first Catholic school was opened at Denver in 1863. 

The first sermon preached in Denver was deliv- 
ered by George Fisher some Sunday in the winter 
of 1858-59. The first service conducted by Rev. 
Jacob Adriance was held at Auraria, July 5, 1859. 

The first Methodist Episcopal church in Colo- 
rado was started at Central City in July, 1859. 
The first church society organized by the Metho- 
dists in Denver dates back to August, 1859; it 
afterward became Trinity M. E. church. The first 
service in Trinity church was held July 5, 1888. 

The first Protestant Episcopal church in Colo- 
rado was founded in Denver, Jan. 21, 1860. The 
first rector of the congregation was Rev. J. H. 
Kehler, of Virginia, who conducted the first service 
on Jan. 23, 1860, in the Union school-house at 
Cherry creek and McGaa street. 

The first meeting of Jews was held in Denver on 
a summer evening of 1860. The first synagogue 
was built in 1873 by the society now worshiping in 
Temple Emanuel. 

The first Baptist church in Colorado was organ- 
ized at Golden, Aug. 1, 1863; the first pastor was 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Rev. William Whitehead. The First Baptist 
church of Denver was founded May 2, 1864. 

The first meeting of Unitarians was held in Den- 
ver, May 31, 1871; the first Unitarian church was 
dedicated Dec. 28, 1873; the second church (the 
new Unity church) was dedicated Sept. 4, 1889. 

The first church of the Disciples of Christ was 
started at Golden in 1872. 

Colorado's Growth in Three Decades 

The population of Colorado by counties, as 
shown by the United States census of 1910, com- 
pared with the census returns for 1890 and 1900, 
follows : 



County— 1910 

Adams 8,892 

Arapahoe 10,263 

Archuleta 3,302 

Baca 2,516 

Bent 5,043 

Boulder 30,330 

Chaflfee 7,622 

Cheyenne 3,667 

Clear Creek 5,001 

Conejos 11,285 

Costilla 5,498 

Custer 1,947 

Delta 13,688 

Denver 213,381 

Dolores 642 

Douglas 3,192 

Eagle 2,985 

El Paso 43,321 

Elbert 5,331 

Fremont 18,181 



1900 


1890 


Increase 


163,017 


32,135 




2,117 


626 


1,185 


759 


1,479 


1,757 


3,049 


1,313 


1,994 


21,544 


14,082 


8,786 


7,085 


6,612 


537 


501 


534 


3,166 


7,082 


7,784 




8,794 


7,193 


2,491 


4,632 


3,491 


866 


2,937 


2,970 




5,487 


2,534 


8,201 


1,134 


1,498 




3,120 


3,006 


72 


3,008 


3,725 




31,602 


21,239 


11,719 


3,101 


1,856 


2,230 


15,636 


9,156 


2,545 



Garfield 10,144 

Gilpin 4,131 

Grand 1,862 

Gunnison 5,897 

Hinsdale 646 

Huerfano 13,320 

Jackson 1,013 

Jefferson 14,231 

Kiowa 2,899 

Kit Carson 7,483 

La Plata 10,812 

Lake 10,600 

Larimer 25,270 

Las Animas 33,643 

Lincoln 5,917 

Logan 9,574 

Mesa 22,197 

Mineral 1,339 

Montezuma 5,029 

Montrose 10,291 

Morgan 9,577 

Otero 20,201 

Ouray 3,514 

Park 2,492 

Phillips 3,179 

Pitkin 4,566 

Prowers 9,520 

Pueblo 52,223 

Rio Grande 6,563 

Rio Blanco 2,332 

Routt 7,561 

Saguache ." . 4,160 

San Juan 3,063 

San Miguel 4,700 

Sedgwick 3,061 

Summit 2,003 

Teller 14,351 

Washington 6,002 

Weld 39,177 

Yuma 8,499 

Totals 799,024 



5,835 


4,478 


4,289 


6,690 


5,867 




741 


604 


1,121 


5,331 


4,359 


566 


1,609 


862 




8,395 


6,882 


4,915 


9,306 


8,450 


4,925 


701 


1,243 


2,198 


1,580 


2,472 


5,903 


7,016 


5,509 


3,796 


18,054 


14,663 




12,168 


9,712 


13,102 


21,842 


17,208 


11,801 


926 


689 


4,991 


3,292 


3,070 


6,257 


9,267 


4,260 


12,930 


1,913 






3,058 


1,529 


1,971 


4,535 


3,980 


5,756 


3,268 


1,601 


6,309 


11,522 


4,192 


8,679 


4,731 


6,510 




2,998 


3,548 




1,583 


2,642 


1,596 


7,020 


8,929 




3,766 


1,969 


3,754 


34,448 


31,491 


17,775 


4,080 


3,451 


2,483 


1,690 


1,200 


643 


3,661 


2,369 


3,900 


3,853 


3,313 


307 


2,342 


1,572 


721 


5,379 


2,909 




971 


1,293 


2,090 


2,744 


1,906 




29,002 






1,241 


2,301 


4,761 


16,808 


11,736 


22,369 


1,729 


2,596 


6,770 



539,700 259,324 



48 



Agricultural Products of Colorado and Their Value in 1910, Compared With 1900 



Production 1910 

Sugar beets 806,000 tons 

Potatoes 6,400,000 bu. 

Hay 1,338,000 tons 

Wheat 8,721,000 bu. 

Oats , 7,898,00 bu. 

Corn 2,846,000 bu. 

Barley 864,000 bu. 

Jiye 56,000 bu. 

Beet sugar 195,100,000 lbs. 

Poultry and eggs 

Butter and milk 

Vegetables (except hot house) 

Live stock production 



Grand total 

•Includes "forage production." **Estimated. 



Value 
$ 4,375,000 
3,520,000 
14,448,400 
7,351,220 
3,633,080 
1,707,600 
518,400 
37,520 
8,282,500 
2,160,771** 
9,479,000** 
3,000,000** 
31,235,000 

$89,748,491 



Production 1900 

6,656 tons 

4,465,746 bu. 

1,647,321 tons* 

5,587,744 bu. 

3,080,130 bu. 

1,272,680 bu. 

531,240 bu. 

26,180 bu. 

1,597,440 lbs.** 



$ 



Value 

26,711 
1,717,111 
8,159,279* 
2,809,370 
1,121,745 
508,488 
246,510 
13,876 
67,891** 
1,440,514 
6,752,513** 
1,131,950 
16,077,988 



Inc. in Value 

$ 4,348,289 

1,802,889 

6,289,121 

4,541,850 

2,511,335 

1,199,112 

271,890 

23,644 

8,214,609 

720,257 

2,726,487 

1,868,050 

15,157,012 



$40,073,945 $49,674,545 



Colorado Fruit Production in 1910 

Cars Value 

Apples 2,536 $1,410,497 

Peaches 1,136 636,527 



Cantaloupes 1,179 

Other fruits 372 



Total 5,223 



381,698 
457,655 

$2,886,397 
[21] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Total Value of Fruit Crop 

Fruit shipped $2,886,397.00 

Consumed at home (estimated).. ." 577,279.40 

Total fruit crop $3,463,676.40 

Value of Canned Fruit 

1910 OUTPUT OF COLORADO CANNING FACTORIES 

Apples $31,125 

Cherries ; 11,994 

Other fruits 18,628 

Total $61,747 



Extent of Colorado's Beet Sugar 
Industry in 1910 

Tons beets paid for during 1910 806,000 

Money paid farmers $ 4,375,000 

Money paid for factory labor ^ 1,285,000 

Money paid field labor 1,613,000 

Money spent by factories for supplies 1,031,000 

Sugar output in pounds 195,100,000 

Men employed during campaign 4,180 

Men employed during inter-campaign 525 to 1,025 

Value of sugar produced $ 8,282,500 

Tons of pulp produced 358,530 

Acres of beets harvested 73,228 

Average tonnage per acre 11 

Average gross revenue per acre (including beet 

tops) $64.50 

(This gross revenue per acre, including beet 
tops, ranges from $50 to $135, depending 
upon the energy and ability of the grower, 
the quality of the soil and the amount of 
water.) 

Average expenses per acre $35 to $40 

Average net revenue per acre $24.50-29.50 

Money invested in factories $18,250,000 

Number of factories in the state 16 

Average sugar content, 1910 15.81% 

Average sugar content, 1909 14.96% 

Irrigated, Irrigable, Non-Irrigable 
and Forest Lands in Colo- 
rado, 1910 

Acres 

Area of state 66,526,720 

Land 66,341,120 

Water 185,600 

Area in national forests 15,554,115 

Arable land 22,400,000 

Mountainous 43,755,520 

Under canals 2,894,000 

Probable limit of irrigated land 4,500,000 

Under canals actually irrigated 2,262,070 

Area intended to be irrigated by schemes under 

way 2,528,747 

Already irrigated by uncompleted schemes 262,070 

Principal Watersheds 

Acreage irrigated by South Platte and branches. . . 900,000 
Acreage irrigated by Arkansas and branches 525,000 

[22] 



Acreage irrigated by Rio Grande and branches... 450,000 
Acreage irrigated by Grand and branches 375,000 

Number and Value of Live Stock in 



Colorado Jan. 1, 1911 



Number 
Range cattle.1,091,000 
Dairy cattle. 298,000 

Hogs 419,000 

Sheep 1,610,000 

Horses 306,000 

Mules 16,300 



-1911 

Value 

$30,548,000 

10,238,000 

4,261,000 

3,941,000 

28,236,000 

1,684,000 



Number 

1,113,100 

192,700 

561,000 

1,868,500 

279,000 

15,300 



-1910- 



Value 
$30,051,000 
7,132,000 
5,690,000 
5,604,000 
25,170,000 
1,560,000 



Totals ...3,731,000 $78,908,000 4,030,000 $75,207,000 

Comparative Mineral Output 

1910 1909 1908 

Gold .'.$20,397,888 $21,921,291 $22,312,865 

Silver 4,661,684 4,796,409 5,610,845 

Lead 3,365,989 2,584,570 3,079,988 

Copper 1,136,304 1,640,619 258,962 

Zinc 4,191,783 2,825,482 2,016,740 

Totals $33,773,638 $33,768,371 $33,279,400 

Miles of Railroad Operated in 
Colorado, Jan. 1, 1911 

Main Side Total 

Roads — Line Track Miles 

Denver & Rio Grande 1,848 600 2,448 

Colorado & Southern 802 300 1,102 

Union Pacific 574 195 769 

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe... 447 260 707 

Burlington 400 170 570 

Colorado Midland 260 80 340 

Moffat Road 214 45 259 

Rock Island 167 22 189 

Missouri Pacific 152 38 190 

Colorado & Vi^yoming 82 2 84 

Cripple Creek Central 83 47 130 

Great Western 56 11 67 

Uintah Railway 51 2 53 

Denver, Laramie & Northwestern 60 8 68 

Argentine Central 16 2 18 

Colorado Springs & Cripple 

Creek 61 25 86 

San Luis Southern 32 3 35 

Joint track (Denver & Rio 

Grande and Colorado & 

Southern) double 20 20 40 

Manitou & Pike's Peak 9 1 10 

Denver, Boulder & Western.... 47 4 51 

Colorado & Southeastern 6 11 17 

Colorado Eastern 18 .... 18 

Totals 5,405 1,846 7,251 

Lines to Be Built in 1911 

Union Pacific (Denver-Fort Morgan) . . .85 $ 2,550,000 
Union Pacific (Denver-Fort Collins, via 

Dent, grading completed 26 780,000 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Laramie, Hahn's Park & Pacific (grad- 
ing progress) 57 1,500,000 

Colorado & Southern (Cheyenne to Well- 
ington) grading 30 900,000 

Burlington (Hudson to Greeley) 26 780,000 

Denver & Rio Grande (second main 
track) 10 250,000 



Denver & Rio Grande and C. & S. 

(joint double track) 27 2,500,000 

San Luis Southern 22 550,000 

Denver, Laramie & Northvyestern 50 1,275,000 

Total 333 $11,085,000 



Early Expeditions &f Explorations 



Spanish Traversed County in 1720 

Probably the first time that ever Larimer county 
was traversed by white men was in 1720, when a 
Spanish military force crossed the county, all the 
way from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to the Yellow- 
stone river, and which was destroyed by the In- 
dians. This expedition followed the base of the 
mountains and therefore crossed the county from 
south to north. It went in search of gold to en- 
rich the coffers of the Spanish throne, and there 
is evidence that mining had been extensively car- 
ried on near the head waters of the Yellowstone. 
Traces of iron tools, partly devoured by rust, were 
found as late as 1874; the line of a former ditch 
to convey water upon the bars and some other indi- 
cations which lead to the conclusion that the 
Spanish adventurers had gained a foothold in the 
region, but had perished there while in the realiza- 
tion of their dreams. 

On their way northward through this county, 
the Spaniards probably prospected for gold in the 
streams that came out of the mountains which 
crossed their trail, though there is no positive evi- 
dence that they did. 

Ashley's Trip in 1824 

In November, 1828, Gen. William H. Ashley, 
of St. Louis, founder of the Rocky Mountain Fur 
Company, with a party of men ascended the South 
Platte until he reached the mountains. He then 
made his way north along the base of the moun- 
tains through Larimer county and across the coun- 
try to the Laramie Plains, thence on to Green 
river where he went into winter quarters. The 
late Phillip Covington, father of H. C. Covington, 
of Laporte, and a former well-known resident of 
this county, was a member of General Ashley's 
party, and has often talked with the writer about 
his experiences on the trip. 

Wooten's Expedition 

In the spring of 1836, Richard Wooten, with a 
party of thirteen men left Fort Bent on the Ar- 



kansas river, and proceeded northwest on a trading 
expedition. The party had ten wagons loaded with 
goods for the Indian trade and crossed Larimer 
county, trading with the natives on the way, 
finally reaching Fort Laramie. Pushing thence to 
the Sweetwater country and then north to the 
Wind River valley, where they spent the winter. 
In the spring they made their way back to Fort 
Bent. All their goods had been disposed of and 
their wagons were loaded with furs worth many 
thousand dollars. This was Richard Wooten's 
first venture with a trading outfit. In after years 
he became famous as a trader, trapper, freighter and 
Indian fighter. He was associated with such men 
as Kit Carson, Colonel St. Vrain, Charles Bent, 
George Simpson, Lucien B. Maxwell, Joseph Doyle 
and many other noted men of the mountains. In 
later years he was known as "Uncle Dick 
Wooten." 

He finally settled on a ranch at the foot of 
Raton mountain, where he died a few years ago. 

Fremont's Second Expedition 

That independent fur trappers operated on the 
Cache la Poudre, Big Thompson and St. Vrain, and 
their tributaries, during the early years of the nine- 
teenth century is altogether probable, as beaver 
abounded in those streams, and buffalo, bear, deer 
and antelope were plentiful on the adjacent plains. 
That these trappers had practically disappeared 
when Fremont passed through the county on his 
second expedition in 1843, is evident from what 
appears in his report. 

Fremont's second expedition was undertaken 
early in the spring of 1843. Experience had taught 
the chief of the expedition the necessity of a com- 
plete outfit, consequently everything thought to be 
needed was provided. Maj. Thomas Fitzpatrick 
had been selecfed as guide. Charles Preuss was 
again chosen as assistant topographical engineer. 
Lucien Maxwell was engaged as hunter. Among 
other members of his party were Theodore Talbot, 
of Washington, D. C. ; Frederick Dwight, of 

[23] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Springfield, Massachusetts, who was on his way to 
the Sandwich Islands; William Gilpin, of Mis- 
souri, who afterwards became the first Territorial 
Governor of Colorado, journeyed with Fremont to 
Oregon. The men who enlisted in the enterprise 
were largely chosen from the members of the first 
expedition. They were Alexis Ayot, Francis 
Badeau, Oliver Beaulien, Baptiste Bernier, John A. 
Campbell, John G. Campbell, Manuel Chapman, 
Raisoni Clark, Philibert Courteau, Michel Crelis, 
William Creuss, Clinton De Forest, Baptiste De- 
rosier, Basil Lajeunesse, Francis Lajeunesse, Henry 
Lee, Louis Menard, Louis Montreil, Samuel Neal, 
Alexis Pera, Francis Fera, James Power, Raphael 
Proue, Oscar Sarpy, Baptiste Tabeau, Charles Tap- 
lin, Baptiste Tesson, Auguste Vasquez, Joseph 
Venot, Patrick White, Tiery Wright, Louis Zindel 
and Jacob Dodson. The party was armed with 
Hall's carbines and also a twelve-pound brass 
howitzer. The camp equipage, provisions and in- 
struments were carried in twelve carts, drawn by 
two mules each. It left Kansas City on the 29th of 
May. On arriving at a place called Big Timber, 
the force was divided. Leaving twenty-five men in 
charge of Major Fitzpatrick to follow on with the 
heavy baggage, Fremont took fifteen men, the 
mountain howitzer, the cart containing the instru- 
ments, and pushed forward, reaching the South 
Platte on June 30th, and followed up the stream to 
St. Vrain's fort, which point he reached on the 4th 
of July. On the 6th, the journey up the Platte was 
continued ; in a day or two later camp was made 
on the site of the city of Denver. Fremont ex- 
tended his explorations as far south as Pueblo, 
where he met Kit Carson, who had been with him 
on his expedition the year before. This noted 
frontiersman and guide was added to the command. 
The party soon after retraced its steps to Fort St. 
Vrain, arriving there on the 23 rd of July, where 
was found the detachment under Fitzpatrick await- 
ing them. On the 26th the party was again divided, 
Fremont taking thirteen men for his own company 
and Fitzpatrick the remainder with instructions to 
proceed by way of Fort Laramie, North Platte, 
Sweetwater and South Pass to Fort Hall and there 
await the detachment under the personal charge of 
the explorer. Before leaving St. Vrain, Fremont 
made the following comment in his report, regard- 
ing the country over which he expected to travel 
and the object of his explorations from St. Vrain 
west : 

"I had been able to obtain no certain information 
in regard to the character of the passes in this por- 

[24] 



tion of the Rocky Mountain range, which had 
always been represented as impracticable for car- 
riages, but the exploration of which was incident- 
ally contemplated by my instructions, with the view 
of finding some convenient points of passage for the 
road of emigration, which would enable it to reach, 
on a more direct line, the usual ford of the Great 
Colorado, a place considered as determined by the 
nature of the country beyond that river. It is 
singular, that immediately at the foot of the moun- 
tains, I could find no one sufficiently acquainted 
with them to guide us to the plains at their western 
base; but the race of trappers who formerly lived 
in their recesses has almost entirely disappeared, 
dwindled to a few scattered individuals, some one 
or two of whom are regularly killed in the course 
of the year by the Indians. You will remember 
that in the previous year, I brought with me to 
their village near this post, and hospitably treated 
on the way, several Cheyenne Indians, whom I had 
met on the lower Platte. Shortly after their ar- 
rival here, they were out with a party of Indians 
(themselves the principal men) which discovered a 
few trappers in the neighboring mountains, whom 
they immediately murdered, although one of them 
had been nearly thirty years in the country, and 
was perfectly well known, as he had grown gray 
among them. 

"Through this portion of the mountains, also, 
are the customary roads of the war parties going 
out against the Utah and Shoshone Indians, and 
occasionally parties from the Crow natives make 
their way down to the southward along the chain, 
in the expectation of surprising some straggling 
lodge of their enemies. Shortly before our arrival, 
one of these parties had attacked an Arapahoe vil- 
lage in the vicinity, which they found unexpectedly 
strong, and their assault was turned into a rapid 
flight and a hot pursuit in which they had been 
compelled to abandon the animals they had ridden, 
and escape on their war horses. Into this uncertain 
and dangerous region, small parties of three or four 
trappers who now could collect together, rarely 
ventured, and consequently it was seldom visited 
and little known. Having determined to try the 
passage through a spur of the mountains made by 
the Cache la Poudre river which rises in the high 
bed of mountains around Long's Peak, I thought it 
desirable to avoid any incumbrances which would 
occasion detention." 

On the afternoon of July 26th, Fremont resumed 
his journey, the route taking him through Larimer 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



county from the southeast corner almost to the 
northwest corner. 

"A French engagee, at Lupton's fort, had been 
shot in the back on the 4th of July, and died dur- 
ing our absence to the Arkansas. The wife of the 
murdered man, an Indian woman of the Snake 
nation, desirous, like Naomi of old, to return to her 
people, requested and obtained permission to travel 
with my party to the neighborhood of Bear river, 
where she expected to meet with some of their 
villages. Happier than the Jewish widow, she car- 
ried with her two children, pretty little half- 
breeds, who added much to the liveliness of the 
camp. Her baggage was carried on five or six pack 
horses, and I gave her a small tent for which I no 
longer had any use, as I had procured a lodge at 
the fort." 

For his own party, Fremont had selected the fol- 
lowing men, a number of whom old associations 
rendered agreeable to him: Charles Preuss, Chris- 
topher Carson, Basil Lajeunesse, Francis Badeau, 
J. B. Bernier, Louis Menard, Raphael Proue, 
Jacob Dodson, Louis Zindell, Harry Lee, J. B. 
Dirosier, Francis Lajeunesse, and Auguste Vasquez. 

After giving the latitude of St. Vrain fort as 40 
degrees, 16 minutes, 33 seconds, its longitude as 
105 degrees, 12 minutes, 23 seconds, and its altitude 
at 4,930 feet, Fremont continues: "At the end of 
two days, which was allowed to my animals for 
necessary repose, all the arrangements had been 
completed, and on the afternoon of July 26th, we 
resumed our respective routes. Some little trouble 
was experienced in crossing the Platte, the waters 
of which were still kept up by rains and melting 
snow, and having traveled only about four miles, 
we encamped in the evening on Thompson's creek, 
where we were very much disturbed by mosquitoes." 
(This camp was about where the present town of 
Milliken is.) From this point it is difficult to trace 
the route followed by the description given, but 
from the map accompanying the report on which 
the route is marked, it appears that the party fol- 
lowed up the Big Thompson to about the present 
city of Loveland, thence across the divide to the 
Cache la Poudre river, fording that stream July 
28th, a short distance above the mouth of Boxelder 
creek; thence along the north bank of the river to 
the canon where they went into camp for noon. 
The map indicates that they penetrated the canon 
to the mouth of the North Fork, up which they as- 
cended to its canon. Being unable to get through 
the canon, they made a detour to the east, return- 
ing to the river at a point near the Halligan dam, 



where they went into camp. The next day they 
followed up the North Fork, coming out on 
Boulder ridge, where they got their first glimpse of 
the Laramie plains, camping that night at a spring 
of cold water near the summit of the divide. The 
following day they crossed Sand Creek pass and 
dropped down on to the Laramie river at about 
Gleneyre, where they camped for the night. From 
this point they followed the trend of the Medi- 
cine Bow mountains to the North Platte, which 
they forded and then turned north to intersect the 
overland emigrant trail along the Sweetwater river. 
There is a tradition to the effect that Fremont 
and his party entered North Park on this expedition 
and discovered and named Independence mount- 
ain, but both the map and the report are silent on 
this point, from which we conclude the tradition is 
founded on a myth. There is also a tradition that 
Fremont sent an exploring party up through the 
canon of the Cache la Poudre to what is now 
known as Cameron pass and that they returned and 
reported the route impracticable. Some color is 
lent to the truth of the tradition by the finding in 
1885, by John Zimmerman under a big pine tree in 
his own yard, of a steel case-knife bearing the letters 
U. S. A. stamped on the blade. The knife is sup- 
posed to have been lost by Fremont's men when 
they camped under the tree. The story is hardly 
credible, however, as at no time after Fremont left 
St. Vrain did he stop long enough on the road for 
men to make the trip to Cameron pass and back. 
His report shows that he kept moving every day 
from the time he left St. Vrain until he reached the 
North Platte. Thirteen years after Captain Fre- 
mont had completed the exploration covered by this 
expedition, he was nominated, in 1856, as the first 
candidate of the newly organized Republican party 
for the office of President of the United States, but 
was defeated at the election in November of that 
year by James Buchanan. He was called the 
"Great Pathfinder" in the campaign of that year. 

Mormons Passed Through Larimer 
County 

A part of the Mormon battalion of 1846, pur- 
suing their way to Salt Lake, spent the winter of 
1846-7 in Pueblo. They are said to have been the 
first American families in Colorado, In the spring 
and summer of 1847 they continued their journey 
to Salt Lake, coming north from Pueblo and pass- 
ing through this county, entering the mountains 
west of Laporte. There were thirty-four married 



[25] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



women and between sixty and seventy children in 
the detachment, besides some ten or dozen single 
men. They followed the Cherokee trail through 
Virginia Dale, and thence on to the Laramie Plains 
and to Salt Lake, via Fort Bridger. The first 
white child born in Colorado was Malinda Cath- 
erine Kelley, and she was born at Pueblo in Novem- 
ber, 1846, her parents being Mormons. 

Marcy's Expedition 

In 1857 President Buchanan appointed A. Cum- 
ming Governor of Utah to succeed Brigham 
Young, who had held that office, and also made 
some changes in other Territorial offices. Governor 
Young refused to vacate his office or to recognize 
the President's appointments, whereupon a military 
force was dispatched to Utah to seat the newly 
appointed officials and to enforce the laws of the 
United States. The command of the expedition 
was given to Brigadier General Harney, but he 
being detained by the political trouble in Kansas, 
Colonel E. B. Alexander of the Tenth Infantry 
went out in command. The troops started west by 
the North Platte route over the Overland trail, 
passing South pass and reaching Henry's fork of 
Green river, thirty miles east of Fort Bridger, then 
going into camp to await instructions from Wash- 
ington. In November, Gen. Albert Sidney John- 
ston arrived and took command, having been sub- 
situated for General Harney. The greater part of 
the supplies for General Johnston's force was cap- 
tured and destroyed on Green river and on the Big 
Sandy by the Mormons and the command had to 
be placed on short rations. Captain R. B. Marcy 
was at once dispatched across the mountains to Fort 
Massachusetts, New Mexico, to obtain supplies. It 
was a terrible trip in dead of winter and there was 
much suffering among the men on the journey. 
Jim Baker, the noted frontiersman, who died in 
1898, accompanied Captain Marcy, and that officer 
testified that he rendered valuable service as assist- 
ant guide and interpreter, saying that if it had not 
been for Jim Baker his little company would never 
have been able to reach its destination. Captain 
Marcy's command proceeded from Fort Bridger to 
the foot of the mountains between Green and Grand 
rivers, up a canon to the top of the range to Grand 
river, near the mouth of the Uncompahgre, up 
Eagle river to Cochetopa pass, and to Fort Massa- 
chusetts, where he obtained what was required. 
The return journey was not undertaken until' the 
following June, the party being obliged by the 

[26] 



severity of the winter to go into camp in the pine 
woods on Squirrel creek. Here he lost several men 
and a large number of sheep by the cold and snow 
encountered. In June, 1858, as soon as the grass 
became good enough to sustain the lives of his ani- 
mals, including several thousand sheep, Captain 
Marcy started to rejoin his command, following the 
Cherokee trail from his winter camp through La- 
porte to the Laramie plains and thence on by way 
of South Pass to General Johnston's encampment at 
Fort Bridger. Captain Marcy's expedition, all 
things considered, is one of the most remarkable 
known to the Rocky Mountain region, and his suc- 
cess is proof of the courage and endurance of the 
men connected with it. 

A Trip Up the Poudre in 1852 

In July, 1907, the venerable J. R. Todd, a for- 
mer resident of Fort Collins, but now living in 
Iowa, related the following story describing his ex- 
periences while crossing the continent in 1852, to 
Judge Jefferson McAnelly, to whom I am indebted 
for the privilege of using the greater part of it in 
this volume. In the story as told by Mr. Todd, 
he said the Cache la Poudre river had not been 
named in 1852. In this he was mistaken. The 
stream received its name in 1836, and the name 
originated from an incident similar to the one de- 
scribed by Mr. Todd. The name Cache la Poudre 
appeared in print in public reports and documents 
fifteen or more years before Mr. Todd traversed 
the banks of the stream, and I have, therefore, 
eliminated so much of the story as relates to that 
matter, for the reason that it is incorrect. Mr. 
Todd's story follows: 

"Doubtless, the trip up the Cache la Poudre val- 
ley by George Pinkerton and others in the year 
1852, will be interesting to the present citizens of 
Larimer county, as well as to others elsewhere. 
The waters of the river were as clear as crystal all 
the way down to its confluence with the Platte. Its 
banks were fringed with timber not as large as now, 
consisting of cottonwood, boxelder, and some wil- 
low. 

Its waters were full of trout of the speckled or 
mountain variety. The undulating bluffs sloped 
gently to the valley which was carpeted with the 
most luxuriant grasses. It was in June, the mildest 
and most beautiful part of the summer in the west- 
ern country, when the days were pleasant, the nights 
cool and mornings crisp and bracing. The sky was 
scarcely ever obscured by clouds, and its vaulted 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



blue, golden tinted in the morning and evening, was 
like a dream of beauty. Not an ax had marred the 
symmetry of the groves of trees that lined the 
banks. Not a plow, or spade, or hoe had ever 
broken its virgin soil. Wild flowers of the richest 
hue beautified the landscape, while above all towered 
the majestic Rocky Mountains to the westward of 
the valley, like the grim sentinels they are, ever 
watching, watching and noting this advancing van- 
guard of civilization. 

"We, of the present day, call it the beautiful val- 
ley, and it is so, with its fine farms, its green fields, 
its growing cities, towns and villages and its beau- 
tiful homes, but with all the touches of this civiliza- 
tion, it is no more beautiful now, it never can ap- 
pear as beautiful to anyone as it appeared to this 
band of young adventurers on the June mornings in 
1852, clothed in that garb that Nature placed 
there. 

"In the spring of 1852, George Pinkerton, Valen- 
tine Hartsock, Thomas Gates, and J. R. Todd 
organized a party of young men and emigrants in 
the State of Iowa, which had for its objective point 
the new formed Territory of Oregon, on the Pacific 
coast. The party was organized in Sigourney, 
Iowa, and started on the journey on April 12th, 
1852. 

"They went from Sigourney to Council Bluffs, 
Iowa, which was then the extreme frontier of the 
white settlement. It was at that time a trading 
point, and had water communication with St. 
Louis, by boat, and contained at the time about 
1,000 inhabitants. Here the United States troops 
ordered them to remain until a sufficient number 
of other emigrants arrived to make the party strong 
enough to be safe from Indian attack in crossing the 
Plains. They were held at Council Bluffs until the 
wagons numbered fifty, and the emigrants numbered 
about 300. They were organized into companies, 
and properly officered, and were then permitted to 
cross the Missouri river, into what was then known 
as the Great American Desert. 

"At that time there were no settlements between 
the Missouri river and the Rocky Mountain region, 
excepting the military post at Fort Leavenworth, in 
the vicinity of which a few squatters had settled. 
The party crossed the Missouri river on a ferry- 
boat owned by the Mormons, at a little town to 
the northwest of Council Bluffs called Gainesville. 
They struck out from the point of the crossing to 
the westward, and in three days' travel arrived on 
the banks of the Platte river. They traveled along 
the north side of this river until they came to the 



confluence of the North and South forks of the 
stream. 

"Here the old trail followed the North fork of 
the river, and wound its way far to the northward, 
through the Black Hills, and back again southward 
to the Devil's Gate on the Sweetwater river. 

"At the forks of the Platte a portion of the emi- 
grants suggested that they follow the South Platte 
river and see if a shorter route could not be found, 
over which to reach the Lamarie Plains and Sweet- 
water, but the majority of them argued that it 
would be safer for them and their women and chil- 
dren to follow the old route rather than leave it for 
a new and untried one. George Pinkerton, who 
had been over the old trail before, was so fixed in his 
opinion that a shorter route could be found, that he 
induced seventy-four men of the caravan to join him 
and start in search of such route. 

"They crossed the North Platte and followed 
along the north side of the South Platte, until they 
came to the mouth of the Cache la Poudre river. 
They traveled along the valley of this river until 
they struck the foothills somewhere near the present 
site of Laporte. They crossed the Poudre river 
here and passed through a beautiful glade, un- 
named then, but now known as Pleasant Valley. 

"Still onward they traveled to the northward of 
the present site of the town of Bellvue, crossed the 
Poudre river again and went on northward 
through a long glade, until they came to the first 
canon south of what is now known as Owl canon, 
leading into the second glade, and went up through 
that glade, finally coming to what is now known as 
the Livermore country, skirting Stonewall creek 
on the right bank and arriving at what is now called 
Dale creek, on the evening of the 3rd of July, 1852, 
where they camped for the night and held a Fourth 
of July celebration the next day. 

"In coming up the South Platte river they struck 
the mouth of the Cache la Poudre river at noon, and 
on the evening of the first day's travel on that river 
they camped. Game was plentiful, herds of buffalo 
were seen upon the plains, as well as deer, elk and 
antelope. 

"To the travelers the Poudre valley appeared to 
be the hunters' paradise. Trout were caught then 
along the Poudre river from its mouth to the foot- 
hills, and the small streams in the mountains were 
alive with them. 

"As stated, they camped on its banks. Many 
times during that day they had observed a band of 
Indians at some distance on the bluffs, and some- 
times following them in the rear. That night they 



[27] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



took extra precautions against a possible attack. 
They posted an extra guard of twenty men around 
their cattle and still an extra guard about their cor- 
ral. They were not molested during the night, but 
early in the morning the Indians charged in two 
separate bands. One band charged the guards look- 
ing after the cattle, and the other charged the 
wagons, yelling and screeching like deamons and 
beating dried deer-skins and rattling deer-hoofs and 
bones to stampede the stock. They came out near 
the corral before they were checked by the rifles of 
the emigrants. They were all armed with bows and 
arrows and had a few old shotguns which they 
doubtless obtained from the Hudson Bay Company. 
These pea-guns did not amount to anything, as the 
Indians were met by the bullets of the emigrants 
long before they came near enough to do any execu- 
tion with the shotguns. The fight lasted about ten 
minutes, when the Indians retreated. It was 
noticed that they carried off some of their dead. 
The whites lost one man killed outright, and one 
man mortally wounded, who died on the road, and 
was buried in the vicinity of the present site of La- 
porte, and two others were wounded, who recovered. 

"After the Indians had left, some of the men 
went out and counted twenty-seven of their dead 
and wounded, who were left where they fell. 

"The remainder of the trip to Virginia Dale was 
uneventful. On what is now called Dale creek, 
near the site of the present home of our former 
County Commissioner, T. B. Bishopp, where they 
arrived on the evening of the third day, they cele- 
brated the Fourth of July in good old western 
style. There was a large flat rock near their camp 
upon which they held their exercises. They had 
several flags with them which they raised on poles. 
A fellow by the name of A. C. Dodge, who was 
something of a historian and debater, and who had 
brought some books with him, in one of which was 
the Declaration of Independence, read it and made 
quite a speech. They had a ten-gallon keg of 
whiskey, which they opened during the exercises, 
and of course did it full justice, and in the even- 
ing on the green sod had what they called a 
stag dance. They had four fiddles, and as many 
violinists, and it is said by one of the party, 
who now survives, that they had a splendid time. 
After they had danced to their hearts' content, 
they 'turned in,' as it was then called, and went 
to sleep soon, but when they woke up in the morn- 
ing they found that a band of Indians had run off 
some of their horses. They immediately organ- 
ized a party and started in pursuit. They followed 

[28] 



the trail of the Indians nearly all day and came 
upon their camp late in the afternoon. The Indians 
having traveled all night and part of the day were 
found asleep. Firing on them and killing three, 
they succeeded in recapturing the horses. They re- 
turned with them to camp and on the next day 
started on their journey, traveling northwesterly, 
arriving at a point near the foot of Sheep mountain, 
where they struck the Laramie plains. Shortly 
after they came out on the plains they were joined 
by a band of Cherokee Indians who were on their 
way from the Indian Territory to Oregon. These 
Indians told them that a few days before, a party of 
what they thought to be Ute Indians had run off 
a large band of their horses." 

It is stated that the valley along the Poudre river 
afforded the finest kind of pasturage, as well as did 
the glades in the mountains. At that time it was a 
difficult matter to travel through the foothills, as 
well as in the mountains. 

The banks of the rivers and creeks were grown 
up with a dense underbrush, which had to be cut 
away. Their course lay over the mountains whose 
grades were so steep .that it became necessary in 
descending them, in some places, to tie a rope to 
the hind axle of the wagons and to wind it about 
a nearby tree and then play out the rope as the 
wagon descended. And in ascending, the moun- 
tains in places were so steep that it became neces- 
sary to hitch on ten yoke of oxen to one wagon to 
get it up the mountain. They traveled on the side 
of the mountain where it was so steep that it was 
necessary for four or five men to hold to ropes at- 
tached to the upper side of the wagon-box to keep 
it from tipping over. 

The party traveled without further incident until 
they came again to the Oregon trail, at Devil's 
Gate on the Sweetwater river. 

Greeley's Journey Through Larimer 
County 

From Horace Greeley's "Overland Journey to 
California in 1859," is here reproduced so much of 
his narrative as treats of his trip from Denver to 
Fort Laramie, made in June of that year. The 
story is of absorbing interest as it depicts in well- 
chosen terms the trials and tribulations of a traveler 
through this section of Colorado in the early days 
when there were but few settlers in the wilderness 
and these scattered wide apart. 

At the time Mr. Greeley passed through La- 
porte, where there was a small beginning of a set- 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



dement, there was not another house, barn or shed 
in the county save a cabin at the crossing of the 
Big Thompson, a few miles west of the present 
city of Loveland. At Laporte there were a few 
French Canadian trappers, all of the remainder of 
the county, with the exception noted, being unin- 
habited by white men. Indians with their tepees 
there were, but no white men had yet come to the 
county with the intention of settling and establish- 
ing homes for themselves in the wilderness. 

Thousands of white men, some with families, 
had years before passed through the county from 
east to west and from north to south, either going 
further west or returning to their former Eastern 
homes, but they had no "stop overs," and rushed 
onward leaving the fertile valleys of the Cache la 
Poudre river and the Big and Little Thompson 
creeks untouched except by footsteps. 

Mr. Greeley was the first white man to traverse 
the county who left any record of his experiences 
and impressions gained en route. He left Denver 
at 3 :00 o'clock on Tuesday afternoon, June 21st, 
1859, in an ambulance wagon drawn by four mules, 
bound for Fort Laramie, where he expected to in- 
tercept and take passage in the Overland stage for 
California. Mr. Greeley does not say who ac- 
companied him on this part of his journey, but it is 
inferred that he had three companions. The first 
night out tftey camped at "Boulder City, a log ham- 
let of some thirty inhabitants." From this on the 
story is told as he tells it in his book : 

"Here ('Boulder City') we found four wagons, 
two of them with horse teams, each conveying the 
luggage of four or five men, who having taken a 
look at these gold regions, had decided to push on 
for California, most of them, I believe, through 
what is known as the Cherokee trail, which forms 
part of the shortest practicable route from Denver 
to Salt Lake. I was strongly tempted at Denver to 
join one of these parties, and go through this pass; 
had I stood firmly on both feet, I think I should 
have done it, saving distance though losing time. 
We all camped for the night beside a small brook, 
the rippling of whose waters over its pebbly bed 
fell soothingly on the drowsy ear. I had the wagon 
to myself for a bed chamber, while my three com- 
panions spread their buffalo skins and blankets on 
the grass and had the vault of heaven for their 
ceiling. The night was cool and breezy, our mules 
were picketed on the grass at a short distance, our 
supper of fried pork and pilot bread had satisfied 
us, and we slept quietly till the first dawn of day, 
when our mules were quickly harnessed and we left 



our fellow campers torpid, pushing on fifteen miles 
and crossing two deep, swift, steep banked creeks 
(St. Vrain's fork and a branch of the Thompson 
creek) before stopping for feed and breakfast. 
After two hours' rest we harnessed up and made 
twenty-one miles more before stopping at the cross- 
ing of the outer fork of Thompson's creek, for 
dinner. Here we found a caravan moving from 
Missouri to California, which reminded me of the 
days of Abraham and Lot. It comprised six or 
seven heavy wagons, mainly drawn by oxen, with a 
light traveling carriage and a pair of horses convey- 
ing the patriarch's family, some two or three hun- 
dred head of cows, steers and young cattle, with 
three or four young men on horseback driving and 
keeping the herd. Girls were milking, women 
cooking or washing, children playing, in short, here 
was the material for a very fair settlement, or quite 
an imposing Kansas City. While we were snooz- 
ing, they hitched up and moved on before us, but we 
very soon overtook and passed them. 

"Pushing on steadily over a reasonably level 
country, though crossed by many deep and steep- 
banked dry gullies, and perhaps one petty living 
stream, we stood at 5 :00 P. M. on the south bank 
of Cache la Poudre, seventy miles from Denver, 
and by far the most formidable stream between the 
South Platte and the Laramie. Our conductor was 
as brave as mountaineers need be, but he was wary 
as well, and had seen so many people drowned in 
fording such streams , especially the Green river 
branch of the Colorado, on which he spent a year 
or two, that he chose to feel his way carefully. So 
he waited and observed for an hour or more, mean- 
time sending word to an old French mountaineer 
friend from Utah, who had pitched his tent here, 
that help was wanted. There had been a ferryboat 
at this crossing till two nights before, when it went 
down stream, and had not since been heard of. A 
horseman we met some miles below assured us that 
there was no crossing, but this we found a mistake, 
two men mounted on strong horses crossing safely 
before our eyes, and two heavy laden ox wagons 
succeeding them in doing the same. 

"One of them stuck in the stream and the oxen 
had to be taken off and driven out, being unable to 
pull it while themselves were half buried in the 
swift current. But these crossings were made from 
the other side where the entrance was better and 
current rather favored the passage. The ox wagons 
were held to the bottom by the weight of their 
loads, while our 'ambulance' was light and likely to 
be swept down stream. At length our French 



[29] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



friend appeared mounted on a powerful horse, with 
an Indian attendant on another such. He advised 
us to stay where we were for the night, promising 
to come in the morning with a heavy ox team and 
help us over. As this, however, involved a loss of 
at least ten miles on our next day's drive, our con- 
ductor resolved to make the attempt now. So the 
Frenchman on his strong horse took one of our lead 
mules by the halter and the Indian took the other 
and we went in, barely escaping an upset from going 
down the steep bank, obliquely, and thus throwing 
one side of our wagon much above the other, but 
we righted in a moment and went through, the 
water being at least three feet deep for about a 
hundred yards, the bottom broken by boulders, and 
the current very swift. We camped as soon as 
fairly over, lit a fire, and having obtained a quarter 
of antelope from our French friend, proceeded to 
prepare and discuss a very satisfactory meal. Table, 
of course, there was none, and unluckily we had 
lost our forks, but we still had two knives, a suf- 
ficiency of tin cups and plates, with an abundance of 
pork and pilot bread, and an old rag for table- 
cloth which had evidently seen hard service, and had 
gathered more dirt and blood in the course of it 
than a table-cloth actually needs. But the antelope 
ham was fresh, fat and tender, and it must have 
weighed less by three pounds when that supper was 
ended than when its preparation was commenced. 

"Cache la Poudre seems to be the center of the 
antelope country. There are no settlements, save a 
small beginning just at the ford, as yet hardly three 
months old, between Denver, seventy miles on one 
side, and Fort Laramie, one hundred and thirty, on 
the other. The North Platte and the Laramie, both 
head in the mountains, forty to eighty miles due 
west of this point, thence pursuing a generally 
north course for more than one hundred miles 
among the hills, which are here lower and less steep 
than further south. The bold, high, regular front 
displayed by the Rocky Mountains for at least a 
hundred (and, I believe, for two hundred) miles 
south of the Cache la Poudre, hence gradually 
melt away into a succession of softer, rounder, 
lower hills; snow disappears; the line between the 
mountains and the plains no longer straight and 
sharply defined, and the still waters of the Plains 
have for some miles an alkaline appearance, besides 
being very scarce in summer. The Cherokee trail 
plunges into the mountains on the north side of and 
very near to Cache la Poudre, and henceforth we 
overtake no emigrants moving westward, none of 
any sort, but meet a few wagons making for 

[30] 



Boulder City or the Gregory diggings. Since we 
crossed Clear creek, on which there is on this trail 
a decent fringe of cottonwood, we had seen but the 
merest shred of small cottonwoods and some scrub 
willow at wide intervals along the larger water 
courses; but the pine still sparsely covered the face 
of the Rocky Mountains. Cache la Poudre has 
quite a fair belt of cottonwood, thenceforth there is 
scarcely a cord of wood to a township for the next 
fifty or sixty miles, and the pine is no longer visible 
on the hills near us, because they expose little but 
rock, and hence are swept by the annual fires. The 
high prairie on either side is thinly, poorly grassed, 
being of moderate fertility at best, often full of 
pebbles of the average size of a goose-egg, and ap- 
parently doomed to sterility by drouth. This 
region, though inferior in soil, and less smooth in 
surface is not dissimilar in its topography to Lom- 
bardy, and like it will in time be subjected to 
systematic irrigation, should the Rocky Mountain 
gold mines prove rich and extensive. Some of the 
streams crossed by our road might easily be so 
dammed at their egress from the mountains as to 
irrigate miles in width to the South Platte, forty or 
fifty miles distant, and at the price which vegetables 
must always command here should the gold mines 
prove inexhaustible, the enterprise would pay well. 
I was told at Cache la Poudre that encouraging 
signs of gold had been obtained in the stream, 
though it had only begun to be prospected. 

"We were up and away betimes, still over thinly 
grassed, badly watered prairie, rather level in its 
general outlines, but badly cut by steep-banked 
water courses now dry. We drove fifteen miles and 
stopped for breakfast on a feeble tributary of Cache 
la Poudre, named Boxelder, for a small tree which 
I first observed here and which is poorer stufF, if 
possible, than cottonwood. This is the only tribu- 
tary which joins the Cache la Poudre below its 
egress from the mountains. All the streams of this 
region are largest where they emerge from the 
mountains, unless reinforced below by other 
streams having a like origin, the thirsty prairie con- 
tributes nothing, but begins to drink them up from 
the time they strike it. The smaller streams are 
thus entirely absorbed in the course of five or ten 
miles, unless they happen sooner to be lost in some 
larger creek. Drouth, throughout each summer, is 
the inexorable and destroying tyrant of the Plains." 

Here we leave Mr. Greeley and his party to pur- 
sue their journey to Fort Laramie, at which point 
they arrived three days later. If Horace Greeley 
could be restored to life and privileged to journey 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER 



COUNTY 



COLORADO 



across the continent in these days, he would note 
that a great change had taken place in the appear- 
ance of the country he traveled over in an ambu- 
lance from Denver to Boxelder creek, fifty-one 
years ago. Instead of wild, dreary and uninhabited 
plains, he would pass through a thickly settled 
country all the way, along fine farms and farm 
houses, well cultivated and highly productive fields, 
orchards laden with fruit and luxuriant gardens 
burdened with choice vegetables and through towns 
and cities teeming with activity, all brought about 
through the systematic use of and intelligent appli- 
cation of water to the land. Instead of plodding 
along in a rickety, uncomfortable ambulance, drawn 
by mules, making twenty or thirty miles a day over 
rough roads and fording flooded streams, he would 
be whirled through the country in luxurious Pull- 
man cars which cover more miles in an hour than 
the mules leave behind in a long day's drive. Yes, 
conditions in Colorado have changed, wonderfully 
changed, since June, 1859. 

Trapping on the Cache La Poudte 
in 1849 and 1850 

In 1900, Capt. William T. Drannan published a 
book, entitled "Thirty-One Years on the Plains and 
in the Mountains," in which he recounts his experi- 
ences and adventures as a hunter, trapper, Indian 
fighter and scout. According to his narrative he fell 
in with Kit Carson at St. Louis when fifteen years 
of age and remained with the noted hunter, trapper, 
guide and scout until he was twenty-one years old. 
He called Carson "Uncle Kit," and relates many 
marvelous tales of thrilling adventures on the plains 
and in the mountains. In the winter of 1849-50, 
Carson established several trapping posts on the 
headwaters of the Cache la Poudre and placed 
young Drannan, then nineteen years old, in charge 
of a party of trappers. In chapter five of his book. 
Captain Drannan relates the story of his experiences 
and adventures that winter, the major portion of 
which is herewith reproduced in his own words : 

"Uncle Kit, having made quite a sum of money, 
concluded that he would take over to the head- 
waters of the Cache la Poudre, to look for a new 
field where he could trap the coming winter on a 
large scale, and wanted John West and I to accom- 
pany him, which we did. Each taking a saddle and 
one pack animal, we started on the trip, taking a 
new route to Uncle Kit, as well as to Johnnie and 
myself. Carson took the lead, for, like a deer, he 
could find his way anywhere he wished to go. 



"We crossed the Arkansas above Bent's fort, and 
from there we traveled along the foothills of the 
Rocky Mountains, striking the South Platte at the 
mouth of Cherry creek, which is now the center of 
Denver, Colorado. Here we met Mountain Phil — 
of whom you will hear more in this narrative. He 
was living in a wickiup and had a squaw for a wife. 
Uncle Kit and I, being acquainted with him, 
stopped and had a chat with him while our horses 
were feeding. Uncle Kit asked what he intended to 
do the coming winter, and he replied : 

" 'I will trap for you if you like, but you will 
have to furnish me an outfit, for I have none of my 
own.' 

" 'AH right, Phil,' said Carson, 'I will give you a 
job, but you will have to stop alone, for none of my 
men will live with you.' 

" 'All right,' said Phil, 'me and Klooch will be 
enough to stop in one cabin, anyway.' 

"These things being understood, we rode off, 
Mountain Phil agreeing to meet us at Taos about 
two months from that time. After we rode away, 
I asked Uncle Kit why no one would live with 
Mountain Phil. His reply was: 'Phil is a very 
bad man, and I have yet to hear the first man speak 
a good word for him.' 

"Late that afternoon we saw a band of Indians — 
ten in number — coming toward us, and when near 
them we saw that they were Arapahoes, and Gray 
Eagle, the chief, was with them. Uncle Kit being 
well acquainted, all shook hands, and the chief in- 
sisted on our going to their camp and staying all 
night with them. Uncle Kit, knowing the nature 
of the Indians, and knowing that Gray Eagle 
would take it as an insult if we should refuse to 
visit him, turned about and went home with him. 
He sent two of his men ahead to the village, and 
we were met by about five hundred warriors with 
all the women and children of the village. Just at 
the outer edge of the village we were honored with 
what they considered a great reception. Gray Eagle 
took us to his own wickiup, his men taking charge 
of our horses and packs. I had learned to speak the 
Arapahoe language fairly well and could under- 
stand anything they said. When supper time came. 
Gray Eagle came to Uncle Kit and said: 'I have a 
great feast for you ; my men have killed a very fat 
dog; supper is ready; come in and eat.' 

"I remarked to Uncle Kit as we were going to 
supper, that I was very glad we came with Gray 
Eagle, for it had been a long time since I had had 
a good meal of dog. Supper being over, the chief 
got his pipe and selected six men from his tribe and 

[31] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



we had a peace smoke, and he and Uncle Kit talked 
nearly all night. During their conversation that 
night he said that Mountain Phil was a very bad 
man, and that he would often steal their horses and 
sell them to the Comanches. 

"Next morning after breakfast our horses were 
brought in, saddled up, and we were off on our 
journey again to Cache la Poudre. 

"It might be of interest to our readers to know 
how this stream acquired its name. There was a 
Frenchman by the name of Virees Robidoux camped 
on the stream spoken of, with a little squad of men ; 
they were attacked by a band of Indians, and the 
first word uttered by Robidoux was 'Cache la 
Poudre,' which means, in English, 'hide the pow- 
der,' and from that time on the stream has been so 
called. 

"We arrived at our proposed trapping field and, 
after looking over the country, we found plenty of 
beaver signs along the streams and game in abund- 
ance, and Uncle Kit decided there was room enough 
for four camps. We returned by the way of Bent's 
fort, as Uncle Kit wished to employ the best men 
he could get to trap for him the coming winter. On 
our way to the fort, which was four hundred miles 
from the proposed trapping ground. Uncle Kit told 
me that he would have to leave me in charge the 
coming winter, as he was going to the City of Mex- 
ico on business, but said that he would come out 
and get the camps established and return to Taos 
with the horses before going there. 

"We found plenty of men at Bent's fort, and, as 
usual, they were all broke, having squandered the 
money earned the winter before for whiskey and in 
card playing. Uncle Kit had no trouble in getting 
all the men he wanted, but had to furnish them 
with traps and provisions — which took considerable 
money — he to have half the furs caught by each of 
them. Everything being understood, we returned to 
Taos, the men agreeing to meet us there two weeks 
later. They were all on hand at the appointed 
time, but there being a large party to outfit, it took 
some weeks to make preparations for the trip, there 
being eleven in the crowd. It was about the last of 
October when we arrived at the trapping ground 
ready to begin work. 

"We had good success trapping that winter, until 
about the first of January, when we had an un- 
usually heavy fall of snow in the mountains, which 
drove all the game to the low lands, nothing being 
left that was fit for m.eat except a few mountain 
sheep, and the snow made it very inconvenient get- 
ting around to attend the traps. In the latter part 

[32] 



of February I asked Charlie Jones one day to go 
down to Mountain Phil's camp and see if there was 
anything that he wanted, as we had kept all the 
extra supplies at our camp. Mountain Phil and his 
Klooch — that being the name he called his squaw, 
which is alfo the Arapahoe name for wife — were 
staying alone about ten miles further down the 
country from where we were located. On Charlie 
Jones' return, he said : 'It seems that Mountain 
Phil has been faring better than any of us, for he 
has been able to kill his meat at camp, thereby sav- 
ing him the trouble of having to go out and hunt 
for it.' Johnnie and I did not understand what he 
meant by this. So, after hesitating a moment, Jones 
said : 'Boys, if I should tell you what I know about 
Mountain Phil, you would not believe it, but as 
sure as you live he has killed his squaw and eaten 
most of her, and he has left his camp.' 

"We insisted that he must be mistaken, but he 
declared that he was not, saying he had seen the 
bones in the cabin, and further investigation de- 
veloped the fact that he had beyond any doubt 
killed and eaten his Indian wife. From that time 
on, "Mountain Phil went by the name of the Ameri- 
can Cannibal until his death, which was — if my 
memory serves me right — in 1863 or 1864, at Vir- 
ginia City, Montana. 

"It was in the month of April that Uncle Kit 
came in with a pack train for the furs, the snowfall 
having been so heavy that he could not get in earlier. 
Our catch had been light, as we had more snow that 
winter than has been known before or since in the 
history of that country. Uncle Kit was, however, 
very well satisfied with our work, with the excep- 
tion of Mountain Phil, whom he had furnished for 
the winter, and who had not caught a beaver. We 
soon had our traps and furs together, loaded up and 
were on our way to New Mexico. The third day 
about noon we reached the Cache la Poudre cross- 
ing, where we again ran on to the American Can- 
nibal. We stopped here to let our horses feed and 
partake of refreshments ourselves. Uncle Kit, after 
giving Mountain Phil a lecture for his past conduct, 
said : 'Phil, if ever you and I are out together in 
the mountains and run short of provisions, I will 
shoot you down as I would a wolf, before you get 
hungry.' Phil asked him why he would do so, and 
Carson replied: 'Because I wouldn't take the 
chance of being killed and eaten up by a cannibal 
like you.' 

"It might be well to give a brief description of 
this cannibal. He was a large, raw-boned man, who 
would weigh about two hundred and fifty pounds, 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER COUNTY 



COLORADO 



though he was not fleshy. He always wore his hair 
long and never combed it, also wore his beard long 
and never sheared or combed that. His hair grew 
down on his forehead almost to his eyes. In fact, 
he looked more like an animal than a human being. 

"Three days' travel brought us to South Platte, 
where we crossed the river and made camp on a lit- 
tle stream called Sand creek. From here we pro- 
ceeded on our way to Santa Fe, which took us 
twelve days. Furs being still higher this year, not- 
withstanding our small catch. Uncle Kit did fairly 
well out of his winter trapping on the Cache la 
Poudre." 
Crossing the Plains in the Early Sixties 

The following description of a trip across the 
Plains in 1862 was read by Mrs. Walter D. W. 
Taft at the annual banquet of the Fort Collins' 
Pioneer Association in 1910: 

"Railroad and steamboat travel ended at the Mis- 
souri river points — chiefly St. Joseph, Mo. ; Fort 
Leavenworth and Atchison, Kan., and at Council 
Bluffs and Omaha, farther north. 

"From these points the travelers going to 'Pike's 
Peak' were obliged to depend upon vehicles of some 
sort for their further progress. There were three 
ways to choose from — by stage coach, ox team and 
horse or mule team. The stages were Concord 
coaches, hung on thoroughbraces, which were two 
huge straps made of leather and fixed to a frame- 
work, one on each side upon which the body of the 
coach was fastened. By them all jolting was pre- 
vented and in going over rough places gave a rock- 
ing motion — ^which made folks who were inclined 
that way thoroughly seasick — but for most people 
was an easy and pleasant motion. 

"The time was six days from Atchison to Denver 
— about seven hundred miles — traveling day and 
night. They carried the mail. On the inside was 
room for nine passengers. The fare was $75 to 
Denver until the Indian troubles began, then it 
was $175. The baggage limit was twenty-five 
pounds, besides which the traveler, for his own 
comfort, took a pair of blankets or a buffalo robe 
and a supply of good things to eat (and sometimes 
to drink). 

"The coaches were drawn by four horses which 
were changed every ten or twelve miles at 
'swing stations.' They stopped at the 'home sta- 
tions' for meals, which cost $1.50. The menu was 
decided upon by the stage company and consisted of 
bread, meat, beans, dried apples, coffee and the 
'four seasons.' Sometimes there were potatoes 
and, as I remember, canned milk, though I am not 



sure. I know they did not always have fresh milk. 
The quality of the meal depended upon the cook. 
A good cook's reputation as such was known for 
miles. Our Mrs. Taylor was famous far up and 
down the line for her neat and attractive dining- 
room and her excellent table, at which was served 
various kinds of bread, coffee made to perfection 
and the variety of things she knew what to do with 
beans and dried apples. 

"There were three seats in the coaches and room 
for three people on each seat. Lucky, indeed, was 
the passenger who secured a corner on the back seat. 
If one did not mind riding backwards, the next most 
desirable places were the two corners on the front 
seat. The use of the middle seat was optional, 
unless there were more than six passengers aboard. 
The back of this seat was a broad strap of very 
thick leather and could be removed. It was a case 
of first come, first served ; the seat you engaged was 
yours, and woe betide the poor mortal who must 
take the middle of the middle seat and stay there 
sitting bolt upright for six days and nights? At 
best it was a hard ride and was used by nabobs and 
business men who were pressed for time. 

"Of the other two modes of crossing the Plains, 
each had its advantages. Mere travelers, those who 
were not interested in freighting, only wanted to 
cross, took passage in a mule or horse train, as bet- 
ter time could be made. It generally took thirty 
days to come from St. Joseph, Mo., to Denver, for 
coming west the wagons were loaded. You paid 
any price you could agree upon with the owner, 
from $30 up, and during the Indian troubles as 
high as $85, including board. Families moving out 
West came with their own wagons, driving the kind 
of team that suited them best. Travel by ox team 
was slower but cheaper ; they could live upon grass. 
Horses must have grain, which was expensive to 
buy, and when carried lessened the amount of 
freight. Six weeks was the time necessary for an 
ox team to make the trip. They traveled about 
two miles an hour, and were used by heavy freight- 
ers, as they could haul more cheaply. 

"At first, until the Indian troubles began in '64, 
all wagons were driven independently. After that 
all wagons were stopped by the U. S. military at 
Fort Kearney coming west, and at Camp Ward- 
well (now Fort Morgan) going east, until there 
was a number of armed men considered sufficient 
for their own protection ; then they were allowed to 
proceed. At first a dozen men were considered 
enough, but later the number was increased to fifty 
and more until after a while the people grew afraid 



[33] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



and liked to travel in large companies. I have 
knowrn of two such companies meeting, one com- 
ing west and the other going east, that were an 
hour and a half in passing. These companies were 
composed of several trains, as the wagons belong- 
ing to one freighter were called, and many single 
wagons; each train had a wagon boss, and from 
among the wagon bosses one was chosen to be a sort 
of captain of the entire company. 

"It was interesting when the day's drive was 
ended to see such a company go into camp. Each 
train pulled out of line and went to the place chosen 
by the boss to corral. The single wagons were ap- 
pointed places with them by the captain. Each 
wagon boss stood in the center of his selected 
ground and motioned his drivers into place until a 
ring was formed of wagons with only a narrow 
opening in one place. The horses and mules after 
being watered were tied to the wheels on the inside 
of the ring. The oxen were turned out to grass. 
Camp fires were built in the center; some got sup- 
per, others made the beds while the teams were be- 
ing taken care of. The drivers of the ox teams took 
turns in night herding their cattle. 

"After supper was a time for social enjoyment 
around the camp-fire. Such a journey was by no 
means lacking in pleasure. You saw all sorts of 
people. Every woman was shown the respect due a 
queen; a girl received homage fit for a goddess — 
anything was hers for the accepting. I know, for I 
was there. 

"The air was clear, the stars shone brighter than 
I ever saw them any other place. The road was a 
broad, beautiful driveway, a hundred feet or more 
in width; for miles it was level as a house floor. 
Traveling by wagon was far pleasanter than travel- 
ing by coach. You knew j'ou were to be a long 
time on the road and you soon ceased to be in any 
hurry; you were at home whenever night come. 

"Then when the journey was done you felt as 
though your occupation was gone and a pleasant 
epoch was ended." 

Crossing the Plains in 1862 

Mr. and Mrs. John G. Coy crossed the Plains in 
1862, arriving at their present home, three-quarters 
of a mile east of Fort Collins, in August of that 
year. They were married just before starting for 
the West and this was their wedding trip. In the 
following story of their trip, its incidents and hap- 
penings, read at the annual banquet of the Fort Col- 
lins' Pioneer Association on Feb. 4th, 1909, Mrs. 

[34] 



Coy tells how they traveled and of their experiences 
on the way: 

"We started from Cuba, Missouri, bound for 
California, the 23rd day of May, 1862, with three 
yoke of oxen and a horse. Some of the oxen were 
young and not well broken, so the first thing we had 
to learn was how to catch and yoke them. When 
we camped, they were turned out to graze and when 
we wanted them we found they would not let us go 
up to them to put on the yoke, so we took a long 
rope, tied one end to the wagon wheel or a tree and 
made a slip noose in the other and laid it on the 
ground with some corn in the loop. When an ox 
came up to get the corn one of us gave the rope a 
quick pull and caught him by the foot; he was then 
tied to the wagon while we put on the yoke; there 
was often a good deal of difficulty in getting the 
two oxen beside each other to yoke them together, 
but in time they learned what was expected of them 
and we had no more trouble. We made about 
eight miles the first day, when we camped near a 
small stream and turned the oxen out to graze, 
built our camp-fire and got our first meal. 

"We traveled along for several days without any- 
thing unusual happening until just before we 
reached the Kansas line. One afternoon we were 
crossing, or trying to cross, a muddy stream, the 
bridge having been burned, when the oxen in the 
lead refused to pull and turned around, while the 
wagon kept settling in the mud until they could not 
pull it out; so there we were. After a while a man 
came along on horseback and began inquiring about 
the war and about the soldiers. Mr. Coy was very 
much worried and tired and I think not in a very 
good humor and did not answer him very politely, 
so when he started away he said we should hear 
from him again. We were still sticking in the mud 
when some of Uncle Sam's soldiers came along and 
helped us out, and we went on our way rejoicing. 
However, we had only gone about two or three 
miles when two men came out of the bushes and 
halted us and said, 'The captain sent us after that 
gun.' We had a small shotgun hanging in front 
of the wagon inside the bows. Mr. Coy said, 'That 
is nothing but a little shotgun.' The man said, 
'Let me see it,' and there was nothing to do but to 
give it to him; then he said, 'Hand out that re- 
volver.' When we told him we hadn't one, he 
said, 'I will search the wagon and if I find one, I 
will kill you.' He began pulling over things in the 
wagon, when his companion, who had not gotten 
off his horse, said: 'Come along! I don't think 
they have one,' so they rode ofif. By the way, the 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



one who did the talking was the man who had 
called on us when we were in the mud and we sus- 
pected they were afraid the soldiers were coming. 
We went a few miles further and camped near a 
house ; there were a good many people around there 
and some of them seemed to be stirring all night ; 
we did not sleep much and the next day we got over 
into Kansas and I thought we were much safer. 
We frequently heard of the guerillas or bush- 
whackers killing someone near where we were 
camped, but none of them ever molested us. 

"The weather was warm and we made better 
time. When we came to a place where we could get 
wood we put some in the wagon under the bed. 
We did not need much except when we baked 
bread. I used to start the bread at noon and cover 
it over closely and by camping time it would be 
ready to put in the Dutch oven. It was made with 
the home-made yeast cakes and was always good. 
Soon after coming into Kansas we passed a farm 
where we traded the horse and saddle for two cows. 
We had been traveling alone, expecting to overtake 
a wagon train which had left about a week ahead of 
us. After leaving Atchison we made about twenty- 
five miles a day and expected to overtake the train in 
about two days more. We reached Kearney one 
evening after dark and made camp for the night; 
the cattle were very tired and all lay down by the 
wagon. In the morning, three oxen and a cow were 
gone. Mr. Coy went out to hunt for them and I 
stayed by the wagon all that day and night. At 
noon the next day, Mr. Coy came back without 
having seen anything of the missing stock. We 
yoked up the three oxen and one cow that were left 
and went back two or three miles and camped beside 
the river. We spent ten days looking for the lost 
cattle, but neither saw nor heard anything of them. 
While waiting here I saw many west-bound trav- 
elers pass by, among them a family which had sev- 
eral wagons and were taking all their household 
effects to Central City, Colorado, to start a dairy. 
The wagon in which the mother and children rode 
was drawn by fourteen cows, this being the easiest 
way to get the cows across the Plains. 

"Having lost half of our teams and being delayed 
so long we concluded that it was too late to go on 
to California and decided to go to Denver and 
spend the winter. We were obliged to make our 
milch cow do the work of one ox. When we 
reached Cottonwood we found four parties camped 
there. I recognized them as some of the people who 
had passed while I was waiting by the river. Hav- 
ing been delayed so long that it was impossible to 



overtake the people we had hoped to, we were 
delighted to fall in with this party. In one wagon 
were Mr. Andrew Ames, his mother and two sis- 
ters; Mr. Sidney Stone and Miss Fritz. In the 
second were Mr. Platte, Joshua and Orvand Ames 
and Mr. Lon Rhodes, while Mr. Crane and family 
made up the third party and the two Snodderly 
brothers the fourth. Mr. Andrew Ames had been 
in Colorado and started a home and was now 
bringing his mother and sisters out. Miss Fritz, 
who had been finishing her schooling in South Bend, 
Indiana, was coming to join her family, who were 
already located here. We all stayed at Cottonwood 
a few days and while the men went out and gath- 
ered wood to take along, the women all did their 
family washings. The weather was very warm by 
this time so we started early in the morning and 
took long noonings, stopping about sundown in the 
evening. It was usually dark before we got our 
suppers and many a mosquito lost his life by falling 
into our frying pans. 

"When we reached Fremont's Orchard the sand 
was so deep it was necessary to double up the teams 
and take part of the loads across, then go back and 
get the rest. We got up before daylight and 
started at once so that we could get over the sand 
before the sun got too hot. The women all walked 
and everybody was nearly famished before we got 
our breakfast at ten or eleven o'clock. 

"We crossed the Platte at Latham, below where 
Greeley now is. Here we again had to double up 
the teams to pull through. The water was so deep 
it came into the wagon boxes; the bedding was all 
piled into one wagon which was higher than the 
others, and everything that water would hurt was 
put up on boxes. The women climbed upon boxes 
and bedding and rode across, but the men had to 
wade waist deep through the water to guide the 
oxen and keep them straight. Without crossing 
the river, Mr. Crane and family went on to Denver, 
but having been persuaded to come on with the 
Ames family and spend the winter here, we came 
on up the river with the rest of the train and came 
to the Cache la Poudre about 4 o'clock in the after- 
noon. We made our last night's camp on a high 
bluff near the present site of Greeley. Looking 
down from this bank we could see the water of the 
Poudre as clear as crystal. Helen Ames, who was 
a young girl at that time, was very much disap- 
pointed because she could not see any trout in the 
water. 

"Leaving this place in the morning we reached 
the Fritz place, afterward Judge Howes' place, 

[35] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



about four o'clock in the afternoon on the first day 
of August. This was on Saturday and we all 
camped near the house. On Monday we moved 
into a little log cabin which stood across the road, 
but which we afterward moved onto the land which 
we took up. 

"Taken all together, we had a good time crossing 
the Plains and with the exception of the scare given 
us by the bushwhacker and the loss of our teams, 
we had no trouble on the way. We passed two or 
three camps of Indians, but they were all peaceable 
and we were never molested by them." 

How Pioneers and Freighters Trav- 
eled Across the Plains 

In May, 1865, Hon. Schuyler Colfax, Speaker 
of the National House of Representatives, who was 
elected Vice-President in 1868 on the ticket with 
General Grant, Lieutenant Governor Bross of Illi- 
nois and senior editor of the Chicago Tribune, 
Samuel Bowles, the talented editor of the Spring- 
field (Massachusetts) Republican, and Albert D. 
Richardson of the New York Tribune, left Atchi- 
son, Kansas, in Ben HoUoday's Overland stage for 
a trip across the continent. Their route took them 
from Atchison to Julesburg, thence up the South 
Platte to Denver, where, in the mining regions to 
the west of that city, they remained several days, 
investigating the mining possibilities of Colorado. 
From there they journeyed north, crossing the Big 
Thompson at Washburn's station, thence across the 
country to the Sherwood Ranch on the Cache la 
Poudre and from there up the river to Laporte, 
where the stream was forded, and then on north to 
Park Station, which was then the gateway to the 
mountains on this route. In a series of interesting 
letters to his newspaper, Mr. Bowles graphically de- 
scribes the experiences of the party on the trip, and 
these letters were afterwards published in book 
form under the caption of "Across the Continent." 
In one of these letters Mr. Bowles tells how the 
emigrants and freighters traveled across the Plains; 
of the perils that beset them on all sides, and the 
hardships they endured on that long, wearisome 
journey of 600 miles from the Missouri river to the 
mountains. It must be remembered that this was 
six years after the great stream of travel set in from 
the East to the Pike's Peak region, but the descrip- 
tion vividly illustrates the methods employed in 
making the journey from the earliest date, in strik- 
ing contrast with the experiences of the westward 
traveler after the railroads were built. He says: 

[36] 



"One great feature in the constant landscape was 
the long trains of wagons and carts with their 
teams of mules and oxen, passing to and fro on the 
road, going in empty, coming out laden with corn 
for man and beast; with machinery for the mining 
regions, with clothing, food and luxuries for the 
accumulating population of Colorado, Utah and 
Montana, and all intermediate settlements. The 
wagons were covered with white cloth, each drawn 
by four or six pairs of mules or oxen, and the trains 
of them stretched frequently from one-quarter to 
one-third of a mile each. As they wound along in 
the distance, they reminded me of the caravans de- 
scribed in the Bible and other ancient books. 
Turned out of the road on the green prairie for 
afternoon rest or night's repose, the wagons drawn 
around in a circle, as a barricade against Indians, or 
protection against storm, and the animals turned 
loose to feed and wander over the surrounding 
prairie for a mile — like cattle upon a thousand hills ; 
at night their camp fires burning; — in any portion 
or under any aspect, they presented a picture most 
unique and impressive, indeed, summoning many a 
memory of Oriental methods. The mule trains made 
from fifteen to twenty miles a day; and the oxen 
about twelve or fifteen. They depended entirely 
upon the grass of the Plains for food as they went 
along; and indeed the animals grew stronger and 
fatter as they moved on in their campaigns of work, 
coming out of their winter rest poor and scrawny 
and going back into it in the fall fat and hearty." 

It was thus, that before the Union Pacific rail- 
road was built, all emigrants and merchandise 
moved from the East into the great new West, and 
it was thus the pioneers, who first settled in valleys 
of Larimer county, covered the long, dreary stretches 
of the trackless Plains in search of homes in the wil- 
derness. 

Mr. Bowles' Second Visit to 
Colorado 

In 1868, Mr. Bowles, editor of the Springfield 
(Massachusetts) Republican, again accompanied 
by Hon. Schuyler Colfax and Hon. William 
Bross, Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, made a sec- 
ond trip across the continent to the Pacific coast, 
this time by rail from Omaha to Cheyenne, over 
the just completed Union Pacific railroad to the 
latter point, thence by stage to Denver, passing 
through Laporte, Fort Collins and the Big Thomp- 
son valley, en route. From Denver the party, 
augmented by the addition of Governor A. C. Hunt 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



and Dr. W. R. Thomas, then an attache of the 
Rocky Mountain News, but now the popular and 
well-equipped Professor of History and Irrigation 
Law at the Colorado State Agricultural College, 
made the circuit of Middle and South parks, trav- 
eled on horseback with pack animals, and camped 
out much of the time where night overtook them. 
They visited Golden, Black Hawk, Central City, 
Nevada, Idaho Springs, Georgetown, in the valley 
of Clear creek, and various other mining camps in 
Colorado, interesting mention being made of each 
in Mr. Bowles' book "Our New West," published 
in 1869. On this trip Mr. Bowles made a careful 
survey of the agricultural possibilities of Colorado, 
and predicted a great future for the farming and 
stock growing industries of the State, which time 
has since fully justified. In summing up his ob- 
servation on these points he said : 

"But inexhaustible as is Colorado's mineral 
wealth, progressive as henceforth its development, 
predominating and extensive as its mountains; high 
even as are its valleys and plains, in spite of all 
seeming possibilities and rivalries, agriculture is 
already and is destined always to be its dominant 
interest. Hence my faith in its prosperity and its 
influence among the central states of the continent. 
For agriculture is the basis of wealth, of culture, of 
morality; it is the conservative element of all 
national and political and social growth. Full one- 
third of the territorial extent of Colorado, though 
this third average as high as Mount Washington, 
is fit, more, rich for agricultural purposes. The 
grains, the vegetables and fruits of the temperate 
zone grow and ripen in profusion, and through 
most of it, cattle, horses and sheep live and fatten 
the year around without housing or feeding." 

After speaking of the need of irrigation to get 
the best results, he gives a rough estimate of the 
agricultural wealth of Colorado for 1867 as fol- 
lows: "A million bushels of corn, half a million of 
wheat, half a million of barley, oats and vegetables, 
fifty thousand head of cattle and seventy-five thou- 
sand to one hundred thousand sheep. The increase 
in 1868 was at least fifty per cent; in the northern 
counties at least one hundred. Indeed, the agricul- 
ture of the northern counties, between Cheyenne 
and Denver, which has grown to be full half of 
that of the state, is the development almost en- 
tirely of the last three years. The soil yields won- 
derfully, north and south. * * * But hardly a be- 
ginning has been made in the occupation of the 
arable lands of the valleys and plains. The Cache 
la Poudre, the first branch of the Platte below 



Cheyenne, has two hundred thousand acres of till- 
able land, only five thousand of which are as yet 
cultivated. Its oat crop in 1868 averaged forty- 
eight and one-half bushels to the acre, and its cows 
paid for themselves in butter in that single year." 

The figures included in Mr. Bowles' estimate of 
the agricultural productions of Colorado in 1867, 
were furnished by Dr. W. R. Thomas, who had very 
carefully compiled them from results of his own 
personal observation while covering the Territory 
as the traveling correspondent of the Rocky Moun- 
tain News. 

That Mr. Bowles possessed the spirit of 
prophecy when he predicted in 1867 that agricul- 
ture in Colorado is destined to be the dominant in- 
terest is shown by comparing the figures he gives 
of the agricultural products of the entire Territory 
for that year, with the products of the farms and 
orchards of Larimer, one of the northern counties 
alluded to, in 1909, forty-two years later, as com- 
piled by the Fort Collins Courier. They were: 
Wheat 575,000 bushels, oats 325,000, barley 
255,000, sugar beets 350,000 tons. Value of fruit 
crop $300,q0,0, value of alfalfa crop $200,000; the 
total value of all crops, including native hay, onions, 
potatoes and other vegetables, being $3,500,000. 
As additional evidence of the growth and prosperity 
of the county, it may here be stated that its popu- 
lation has increased from about 500 in 1867 to 
nearly, if not quite, 25,000 in 1909, and that its 
banks, on January 1st, 1910, held deposits aggre- 
gating a total of $3,448,965.58. 

Trip of Union Pacific Engineers 

In the fall of 1866 a party of Union Pacific 
engineers, accompanied by directors of the Union 
Pacific Railroad company, visited Colorado for the 
purpose of examining the different routes which had 
been proposed for the road through the passes of 
the Rocky Mountains. Col. Silas Seymour, con- 
sulting engineer, was a member of the party, and in 
a very interesting little volume, entitled "Incidents 
of a Trip Through the Great Platte Valley to the 
Rocky Mountains and Laramie Plains," published 
by him in 1867, we find a good deal of local in- 
terest. After examining Berthoud and Boulder 
passes, the party left Denver on the afternoon of 
September 22, by Holloday's Overland stage to con- 
duct further explorations in the Black Hills north 
and west of Laporte. Concerning this trip. Colonel 
Seymour says: 

[37] 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



"We reached Laporte, a distance of sixty-seven 
miles by stage road from Denver, at daybreak on 
Sunday morning, and found most comfortable 
quarters at the stage station kept by Mf. W. S. 
Taylor, and were joined in the evening by General 
G. W. Dodge, chief engineer, and Mr. James A. 
Evans, division engineer of the Union Pacific rail- 
road. 

"We are now about to enter in real earnest upon 
the rough and adventurous features of our excur- 
sion. General Dodge commenced our education 
by intimating in the most gentle manner that we 
would be expected to feed, water and clean our 
saddle-horse during the trip. Our host at the 
station also informed us that he had no sleeping 
accommodations for us, and that we had better look 
around for lodgings. 

"In view of such an emergency, Mr. Williams 
and myself had fortunately provided ourselves with 
plenty of buffalo skins, blankets and pouches. We 
therefore intimated to the landlord that one of us 
would occupy the lounge in the corner of the din- 
ing-room, and the other would sleep on the floor 
near the stove. Upon this, the cook, a buxom mid- 
dle-aged woman, with a sucking child, called out 
from the kitchen, in not very gentle tones, that 
"that lounge was her bed." Mr. Chamberlin, an 
enterprising merchant in the vicinity, here came to 
our relief and kindly offered us the use of the floor 
in the back room of his log store, which we were 
glad to accept. 

"The following day we spent in making prepara- 
tions for our intended reconnaissance on horseback 
of the Black Hills and Laramie Plains. An easy- 
going black saddle-horse was procured of Mr. 
Chamberlin for the use of Mr. Williams. A chest- 
nut mare, procured by General Dodge from Fort 
Collins, was allotted to me. He had previously 
selected a fine roan from the same place for him- 
self, and Mr. Evans adhered to a large black mule 
which he had been riding for some days previously. 
He very kindly offered this mule to Mr. Evans, 
with the quiet remark, however, that he was apt to 
buck once in a while, which meant, as he after- 
wards explained, that he would occasionally stick 
his head down between his forelegs, kick up behind 
and throw his rider off over his head. Mr. Wil- 
liams, who had some experience with mules on our 
trip to Berthoud pass, very promptly declined the 
offer. 

"Hon. Green Clay Smith, Governor of Mon- 
tana, breakfasted with us as he was passing through 

[38] 



with his suite, by stage, on his way to the scene of 
his future labors. 

"On Tuesday morning, September 25th, our 
party, consisting of Mr. Williams, General Dodge, 
Mr. Evans and myself, started from Laporte, fully 
mounted and equipped as cavalry, and armed to the 
teeth with breech-loading carbines dangling from 
our saddles, and revolvers buckled around our 
waists, accompanied by a supply wagon in charge of 
Mr. McLain, one of Mr. Evans' assistants, in 
which were our bedding and such supplies as we 
would likely want on our trip. Our course lay up 
the valley of the Cache la Poudre a few miles, and 
then we turned more northerly and followed up the 
valley of one of its tributaries, which again led us 
into the valleys of the Pitchfork, Stonewall, Poison 
and Dale creeks. To the right of us, toward the 
Plains, were what time had suffered to remain of 
the rough, jagged crests of the secondary forma- 
tions as they had rested from the great upheaval of 
their portion of the earth's surface, when, during 
some former age. Old Vulcan had undoubtedly 
fallen asleep and allowed the subterranean fire, 
which he used in forging those immense iron 
wedges and other machinery with which he keeps 
the Universe in equilibrium, to attain too great a 
degree of heat. 

"To the left of us were the higher and more im- 
perishable debris of these same formations, blanked 
in the distance by the snow-clad summits of the 
primeval rocks, which have for so many centuries 
withstood the combined attacks of time and the ele- 
ments. The objects of more immediate interest, 
however, were the Stonewall canon with its perpen- 
dicular walls of rock several hundred feet in height, 
and the Steamboat Buttes, which from a distance 
presents to view all the characteristics of a steam- 
boat, with upper cabins, chimney, pilot-house, etc., 
the passer-by pausing unconsciously to hear the bell 
ring and the familiar cry of 'all aboard' before it 
shall start away. 

"Our wagon, having followed the traveled road 
which we were compelled in a great measure to 
avoid, had obtained some distance the start of us, 
and we did not overtake it until about 2 :00 P. M. 
Having been in the saddle at least six consecutive 
hours, we were very glad to dismount, and, after 
unsaddling, watering and picketing our horses and 
extending ourselves upon the grass in the shade of 
the wagon, partook of a lunch which our commis- 
sary had made ready for us, after which a ride of 
three hours brought us to Virginia Dale, one of the 
stations of the Overland Stage Company." 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Our explorers passed the first night out from 
Laporte at Virginia Dale, which Colonel Seymour 
describes as "a most beautiful amphitheatre, sur- 
rounded by mountains, with Dale creek running 
through the center, and is near the boundary line 
between Colorado and Dakota." The next day 
they followed up Dale creek to Antelope pass, 
where they obtained the first view of Laramie 
plains, "extending as far to the Northward as the 
eye could reach, bounded on the east by the Black 
Hills and on the west by the much higher range 
of the Medicine Bow Mountains, which form the 
easterly side of the North Park." That night was 
spent at Fort Saunders, built to take the place of 
Fort Halleck and Camp Collins. On Friday, 
September 28th, the party started eastward, diverg- 
ing near Willow Springs station in a more north- 
erly direction, crossing the Black Hills at Evans' 
pass, and going into camp for the night on Dale 
creek. The next night they camped on Lone Tree 
creek, and on Sunday afternoon they went into 
camp on Boxelder creek near what is now known 
as the Bristol ranch after a lunch in the middle of 
the day at Jack Springs. On Monday, the 30th, 
they reached Laporte, where they spent the night, 
Mrs. Taylor serving them an excellent supper of 
antelope steak and other fixings. On the evening 
of October 1st, Colonel Seymour and Mr. Wil- 
liams took the stage for Denver, going thence east 
in the Overland stage to Fort Kearney, where they 
boarded a special train on the Union Pacific rail- 
road for Omaha. As a result of his observations 
on this trip, Mr. Williams, who seems to have been 
imbued with prophecy, declared: 

"First — That the great Platte valley, extending 
as it does, in a direct line eastward, nearly 600 
miles from the base of the Rocky Mountains to the 



Missouri valley, was intended as the great thor- 
oughfare for the overland commerce of the world. 

"Second — That the Platte river itself was in- 
tended, in the first instance, to supply water to the 
early pioneers and emigrants in their pilgrimage to 
and from the Rocky Mountains; and subsequently 
to afford the means for irrigating the immense 
plains along its borders, and thus render it event- 
ually one of the finest pastoral and agricultural 
regions upon the continent, and 

"Third- — The perpetual snows upon the moun- 
tains were intended to furnish an unfailing supply 
of water to all the mountain streams which flow 
into the Platte, and, thus during all time, afford 
the means of irrigation to the extensive table-lands 
along the eastern base of the mountains." 

Mr. Williams' predictions have been fulfilled. 
The valley of the South Platte and its tributaries 
from Julesburg to the base of the mountains are 
now thickly settled by intelligent, industrious and 
prosperous communities, and, several large and 
thrifty cities may be found where only the prairie 
dog and sneaking coyote held dominion when Mr. 
Williams traveled in the Overland stage from 
Denver to Fort Kearney. What Captain Long de- 
clared in the report of his exploration in 1819-20, 
"a barren region unfit for the habitation of civilized 
man," is now teeming with the life and activity of 
large and prosperous communities that have grown 
up through the magic of irrigation and the appli- 
cation of the life-giving waters of the streams that 
flow down from the snow-tipped summits of the 
mountains ; through irrigation and the genius and en- 
terprise of man, the Great American desert has been 
made to "bloom like the rose," and those portions of 
it that can be brought under cultivation through the 
wise application of water, are today acknowledged 
to be the most productive sections of the country. 



[39] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



ized during the summer months by tourists from 
the Eastern states. The scenic attractions of the 
county and its charming summer resorts, with their 
hunting and fishing privileges, magnificent moun- 
tain views, so easily accessible, are yearly attracting 





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AN ARAPAHOE WIGWAM 

more and more attention. Indeed, Larimer county, 
as a whole, for utility, beauty and for grandeur, 
picturesqueness and variety of attractions is not sur- 
passed in the Rocky Mountain region. Splendid 
crops of grain, potatoes, fruit, alfalfa and native 
hay are produced in the valleys, glades and parks 
of the foothills, mountain potatoes being especially 
noted for their superior excellence over those grown 
on the Plains. 

There are approximately 400 square miles, or 
about 256,000 acres, of plain land lying between 
the hogbacks, as they are called, and the east line 
of the county, and it was in the valleys of the 
streams crossing these lands from west to east that 
the principal settlements were first made and also 
where the first attempts were made at farming in 
Northern Colorado. The thrifty towns of Fort 



Collins, Loveland, Berthoud, Wellington and 
Timnath are located on these lands and agriculture 
has reached its highest stage of development in their 
vicinity. This narrow strip of plain land now con- 
tains and supports a population of about 24,000 
people and the population of the entire county is 
25,270. 

In 1880-81, prospectors discovered a number of 
rich silver-bearing leads on the northern slope of 
the Rabbit Ear range of mountains, in the south- 
eastern corner of North Park, then a part of Lari- 
mer county, and these discoveries being made 
known soon attracted wide attention. Hundreds 
rushed in to secure claims and a bustling mining 
camp was established which was named Teller, in 
honor of United States Senator- H. M. Teller. A 
daily mail by a line of stages, operated by S. B. 
Stewart, was established from Fort Collins to 
Teller in 1881, the route passing through Liver- 
more, Rustic, Chambers Lake and thence over 
Cameron pass into the camp. The town grew 
rapidly, like all mining camps, and in the latter 
part of 1881 had a population estimated as from 
1,200 to 1,500 souls. Stores and a hotel were 
opened, a newspaper called the Teller Miner was 
established, and active development work in the 
mines was started. A daily stage was also put on 
between Laramie City, Wyo., and Teller, and con- 
ditions at that time looked very promising. Some 
two or three years before this, however, the rich 
pasture lands of North Park had attracted the at- 
tention of stockmen, and several thousand head of 
cattle were driven into the park in 1878-79, and a 




INDIAN WOMEN AND CHILDREN 

number of big ranches were established on the 
North Platte and tributary streams, so that by 
1882 the park contained a large amount of tax- 

[41] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



able property. That year a controversy arose be- 
tween the counties of Grand and Larimer over the 
jurisdiction of the park, both claiming it and each 
contending for the right to assess and collect taxes 
from the property holders. The controversy arose 
over the construction of the act of the Territorial 
Legislature creating Larimer county, the latter 
claiming that, according to the boundaries estab- 
lished by the act, its jurisdiction extended to the 
summit of the Snowy range, or the Continental 
Divide. Grand county, on the other hand, con- 
tended that the western boundary line of Larimer 
county rested upon the summit of the Medicine 
Bow range, a spur of the main range. The Com- 
missioners of Larimer county refused to accept 
this construction of the act, and the dispute finally 
got into the courts when Grand county sought to 
enjoin the Commissioners of Larimer county from 
exercising any jurisdiction over North Park. 

The hearing on the application for the writ of 
injunction was had in the district court of Summit 
county before Judge Luther M. Goddard, later a 
Justice of the Supreme court, and the writ denied. 
Grand county appealed to the Supreme court 
which, in 1886, affirmed the decision of the lower 
court, thus putting an end to a dispute that had 
caused a great deal of ill-feeling. The opinion of 
the Supreme court was written by S. H. Elbert and 
clearly established the western boundary of Lari- 
mer county on the summit of the Snowy range, or 
Continental Divide, and also the county's right to 
exercise full jurisdiction over North Park. 

Messrs. Haynes, Dunning & Annis of Fort Col- 
lins represented Larimer county, and Messrs. W. I. 
Hughes and Hugh Butler of Denver appeared for 
Grand county. 

The principal water courses of the county are the 
Cache la Poudre and the Big Thompson rivers and 
the Little Thompson creek. The two first named 
have their sources high up among the mountain 
ranges which form the western boundary of the 
county, the last named among the high hills sepa- 
rating Estes Park from the Plains and discharges 
its waters into the Big Thompson river a few miles 
above the latter's junction with the South Platte. 
The Big Thompson heads in Estes Park among the 
snow-capped peaks of the Continental Divide, flows 
an easterly course through the park and empties 
into the Platte a short distance southwest of Evans. 
The Cache la Poudre heads in Chambers lake, 
situated at an elevation of more than 9,000 feet 
above sea level. The lake is fed by several 
small streams which head on the eastern slope of 

[42] 



the Medicine Bow range. From the lake the 
stream pursues a zigzag course through deep, dark 
canons whose granite walls often rear their heads 
1,500 feet above the bed of the stream, finally de- 
bouching on to the Plains about four miles west of 
Laporte. From this point the stream flows a south- 
easterly course and empties into the Platte a few 
miles east of Greeley. Among the principal tribu- 
taries are the Big and Little South forks, which 
come into the main stream high up in the moun- 
tains from the southwest; the North fork, which 
flows down from the northwest and discharges its 
waters into the main stream about fifteen miles 
above the city of Fort Collins; the Boxelder creek, 
which heads up near the Wyoming line, flows a 
southeasterly course and empties into the Poudre 
about five miles southeast of Fort Collins. The 
principal tributaries of the Big Thompson are Fall 
river, which joins the main stream in Estes Park; 
the North fork and the Buckhorn. It is from these 
main streams, after they reach the Plains, that 
water is drawn through an extensive system of 
canals and ditches for use in irrigating the culti- 
vated fields and meadows of the farmers. In the 
mountains the water of the strearns flows with 
great velocity over rocks and ledges and are ex- 
ceedingly turbulent in flood times. After they 
reach the Plains, vvhere -the fall of the country is 
less, they take on a tamer mood and flow over 
pebbly bottoms in a quiet and orderly manner. 
They are all beautiful mountain streams, carrying 
clear, cool water, and are well stocked with trout. 
The Laramie river rises in the Medicine Bow 
Mountains a short distance northwest of Chambers 
lake, flows a northerly course into Wyoming and 
empties into the North Platte a few miles below 
Fort Laramie. At some time in the distant past 
the head waters of the Cache la Poudre flowed into 
the Laramie, but some convulsion of Nature filled 
the channel and turned the stream into a deep de- 
pression known as Chambers lake. From this lake 
the water forced its way through the hills in an 
easterly direction and formed the Cache la Poudre 
river. The origin of the names of these streams 
will be given elsewhere in this volume. 

Larimer county was named in honor of General 
William Larimer, one of the early settlers of Den- 
ver, whose name and memory are intimately asso- 
ciated with the early history of Colorado. General 
Larimer was born in Westmoreland county, Penn- 
sylvania, October 9th, 1809. On reaching man- 
hood he became prominently identified with business 
affairs in and near Pittsburg, engaged in banking. 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER 



COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



and was the projector and President of the Pitts- 
burg & Connellsville railroad, now a part of the 
Baltimore & Ohio system. After the panic of 
1857 he located in Nebraska, and later at Leaven- 
worth, Kansas. He came to Colorado in Novem- 
ber, 1858, as one of the famous "Leavenworth 
Men," who founded Denver City on the eastward 
side of Cherry creek, as a rival to "Auraria" on the 
westward side. He was Treasurer of the town 
company, and a leader among Denver's pioneers. 
There was a strong sentiment in the Territory in 
favor of having him appointed the first Governor of 
Colorado, which was reinforced by several men 
prominent in Washington, but it was unable to 
overcome the influence that favored the appoint- 




INDIAN BABY CARRIAGE 

ment of Gilpin. General Larimer bore an active 
part in securing men for the Colorado Union regi- 
ments at the outbreak of the Civil War, and was 
appointed Colonel of the Third Colorado, but as 
that embryo organization was merged into the 
Second Colorado, his commission did not take him 
into active service. General Larimer went back to 
Eastern Kansas in 1864, located on a farm near 
Leavenworth, where he died, May 16, 1875. Dur- 
ing his residence in Colorado he was one of the most 
popular men of pioneer time. In addition to hav- 
ing one of the counties of the Territory named for 
him, one of the principal business streets of Denver 
was also given his name. A portrait of General 
Larimer appears in this volume. 

Under Three Flags 

Larimer county was a part of Louisiana 
province, which the United States purchased of 
France in 1803 for $15,000,000. Among the first 
visitors to Louisiana were the Spanish men-at-arms 
of DeSoto's expedition, under Muscogo, who, after 



the death of their chief, in 1542, descended the Mis- 
sissippi river in rude ships and went out to sea. In 
1682 the brave Sieur de La Salle floated down the 
great river from the Illinois river to the Gulf, and 
took possession of the country in the name of 
France, erecting pillars on the banks of the Missis- 
sippi to show that it was French territory. In 
1699 another expedition was sent from France to 
Louisiana under Iberville. The first settlement in 
Louisiana was made by Iberville, seventy miles up 
the Mississippi, in 1700, as a military colony, to 
prevent the English from ascending the river. 
Louisana was given to Antoine Crozat in 1712, 
with exclusive control from Canada to the Gulf. 
Six years later, Crozat relinquished this vast but 
unprofitable empire, and it passed into the posses- 
sion of the Western Company, organized by John 
Law. In 1764 the Louisianans were notified that 
their country had been ceded to Spain and the next 
year Antonio de Ulloa arrived to become Governor. 
The people were opposed to Spanish rule, and 
finally taking possession of New Orleans, they sent 
Ulloa away on an outbound ship, and established a 
government of their own, sending delegates to 
France to ask the King to again occupy Louisiana. 
Their requests being refused, the insurgents con- 
templated the establishment of a republic; but in 
1769 Don Alexander O'Reiley arrived as the Span- 
ish Governor, with 2,600 troops and fifty guns. 
The rebellion was suppressed, and its leaders were 
shot on the Plaza de Armas at New Orleans. At 
that time the province was defined as extending 
northwest to the source of the Mississippi, and west- 
ward to the Pacific ocean. In 1801 the great 
province was ceded back to France, but the treaty 
was kept secret. Napoleon intended to send to 
Louisiana General Victor and 25,000 choice French 
troops, to firmly establish a New France on the 
American continent. But the supremacy of Great 
Britain on the sea rendered this move impossible, 
and left the country without defense. Unable to 
garrison the new domain, and fearing that England 
would sieze it. Napoleon made haste to sell the 
province to the United States, for $15,000,000. 

From the foregoing it will be seen that Larimer 
county was under the Spanish standard from 1542 
to 1682, a period of 140 years. It then passed 
under French control and was French territory 
until 1764, when Spain again came into possession 
of the province and held dominion over it until it 
was ceded back to France, in 1801. Two years 
later the country came under the folds of the Stars 
and Stripes, where, let us hope, it will remain while 

[43] 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER COUNTY 



COLORADO 



the world stands. It has been twice under the 
Spanish flag, twice under the French tri-colors, and 
now adds brilliancy to the fortieth star in the 
firmament that graces the American flag. 

First Settlement 

Larimer county was created and established by 
an act of the first Territorial Legislature of Colo- 
rado, which met in Denver, Sept. 9th, 1861, but it 
was not organized for judicial purposes until three 
years later. The first white settlement in the county 
was made at Laporte, some say about eighty 
years ago. It is certain that there were white men, 
Canadian trappers, with Indian wives, living at La- 
porte in 1828. The late Philip Covington, father 
of H. C. Covington of Laporte, and M. M. Cov- 
ington of Seattle, Washington, passed through this 
country that year with a caravan loaded with sup- 
plies for the American Fur Company, then operat- 
ing on Green river, and remembers seeing French 
trappers at Laporte. These people were, however, 
migratory, here today and there tomorrow, their 
homes being established, temporarily, where there 
was the best trapping, and no permanent settlement 
was made until several years afterwards. Antoine 
Janis, a native of Missouri, born of French parents, 
is believed to have been the first permanent white 
settler in all that part of Colorado north of the 
Arkansas river. He staked out a squatter's claim 
on the river bottom a short distance west of La- 
porte in 1844, and resided upon it until 1878, when 
he moved to Pine Ridge Agency to join the tribe of 
Indians to which his wife belonged, where he died 
a few years ago. Years before this time the Cache 
la Poudre valley had been traversed by caravans 
transporting goods and supplies for the fur trading 
posts on Green river, and Mr. Janis' father had 
often made the trip from St. Louis to Green river 
as captain of a caravan. On one occasion, in 1836, 
Antoine, then a boy twelve years of age, ac- 
companied his father, the route followed taking 
them through this valley, going and coming. It 
was on this trip that the river was named "Cache 
la Poudre" from a circumstance, an account of 
which is related elsewhere in this volume. In 
February, 1883, the editor of the Fort Collins 
Courier addressed a letter to Mr. Janis at Pine 
Ridge Agency, requesting him to furnish the writer 
for publication such facts and dates relating to the 
early settlement of the Cache la Poudre valley as 
he possessed. To this request Mr. Janis replied as 
follows : 

[44] 



"Pine Ridge Agency, March 17, 1883. 

"My Dear Mr. Watrous: In regard to the early 
history of the Poudre valley, I will say that as one 
of the party I have in my possession all the facts 
relating to its first settlement, including names of 
persons, day and dates. On the first of June, 1844, 
I stuck my stake on a claim in the valley, intending 
the location selected for my home should the coun- 
try ever be settled. At that time the streams were 
all very high and the valley black with buffalo. As 
far as the eye could reach, nothing scarcely could be 
seen but buffalo. I was just returning from Mexico, 
and I thought the Poudre valley was the loveliest 
spot on earth, and think so yet. 

"The gold fever broke out in 1858. Soon after 
locating my claim I moved over from Fort Laramie 
and settled on it. The place is just above Laporte, 
and is owned by Tobe Miller (Joseph Hammerly 
is now the owner of the place). One hundred and 
fifty lodges of Arapahoes moved there with me at 
the same time. They asked me if I wanted to settle 
there. I told them I did. Bold Wolf, the chief, 
then called a council of braves, who finally gave us 
permission to locate, and donated to us all the land 
from the foot of the mountains to the mouth of 
Boxelder creek. The donees were E. Gerry, Nicho- 
las Janis, and myself. In the winter of 1858-9 
settlers commenced flocking in. 

"A company was formed composed of Nicholas 
Janis, E. Gerry, Todd Randall, Raymond B. Good- 
win, John B. Provost, Oliver Morisette, A. LeBon, 
Ravofiere and others, which located a town site and 
called it Colona. We had the site surveyed and 
mapped out; and built fifty houses. 

"I was born in St. Charles, Missouri, March 26, 
1824. First came to Colorado in 1844. You ask 
me all the particulars. It would consume a great 
deal of time to give to you in full detail, and my 
health has been such this winter that I dare not un- 
dertake the task. Have been away, or I should have 
answered your kind letter before. 

"Antoine Janis." 

At one time Mr. Janis and his brother Nicholas 
were employed as scouts and guides in Colorado 
and Wyoming, and they frequently visited Fort 
Laramie for supplies and mail. Their names appear 
often in Coutant's history of Wyoming. Antoine 
was still a resident of Laporte when I came to Fort 
Collins in 1877, and he was highly regarded as a 
man, neighbor and citizen by all the early settlers 
of the valley. 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Fremont had but barely begun his venturesome 
explorations of passageways through the Rocky 
Mountains to the Pacific coast ; St. Louis was but a 
small trading post on the Mississippi; Chicago still 
in its infancy; only a small portion of the vast 
region between the Missouri river and the Pacific 
had been explored and it was practically destitute 
of the habitations of white men, when Janis located 
in the Cache la Poudre valley. Lewis and Clark 
had made their famous journey to the headwaters 
of the Missouri river, and thence across the mount- 
ains to Oregon and return. Lieut. Zebulon Pike 




A PIONEER'S HOME 

had discovered Pike's Peak, and explored a small 
portion of Colorado, and Maj. Long had crossed the 
Plains a little more than a score of years before and 
erected a lasting monument to his memory in the 
discovery of Long's Peak. The American Fur 
Company had established trading posts in Western 
Wyoming and Eastern Idaho, but outside the trails 
made by these explorers and fortune hunters, little 
was known of what is now Colorado when Antoine 
Janis ventured into the Cache la Poudre valley in 
1844. 

In 1858, fourteen years later, John B. Provost, 
Francis and Nicholas Janis, Antoine Le Beau, Todd 
Randall, E. W. Raymond, B. Goodman, Oliver 
Morrisette and others came down from Fort Lar- 
amie with their families, looking for the most prom- 
ising site for a town. After skirting the hills as far 
south as Denver, the party returned north to the 
"river of the hidden powder" and located on its 



banks a town to be known as Colona. This marks 
the first community settlement made in Larimer 
county, and from this nucleus the region has de- 
veloped into the present populous and prosperous 
county, dotted with farms, towns and cities. The 
projectors of the town of Colona recognized that 
in the Cache la Poudre valley would some day be 
built up a large and prosperous community. 

With the Great Plains extending eastward for 
hundreds of miles, the mountains to the west cover- 
ed with valuable timbers, overrun with game and 
seamed, as they believed, with vast mineral de- 
posits ; the snow-fed streams and a climate unequal- 
ed in the north temperate zone, these hardy men de- 
cided to build themselves homes and await the 
rolling in of a tide of immigrants that would result 
in the upbuilding of a country that would "blossom 
as the rose" and grow rich and powerful. They 
believed that a great city would some day grow up 
at the northern gateway to the mountains, located 
as Colona was on the great Overland route from 
Santa Fe to Salt Lake and the regions north and 
west of that city. But the great mineral discoveries 
south and jyest of Denver turned emigration in 
those directions, giving rise to cities like Denver, 
Pueblo, Leadville, Colorado Springs and others of 
less note; though in 1858, with the unexplored and 
undeveloped resources of the county and only a 
guess at the command of the locators, the situation 
at Colona seemed full of promise of a great future. 
The present day visitor at Laporte, to which name 
Colona was changed in 1862, can see remains of a 
town that once declined to trade lot for lot with 
Denver and even aspired to be the seat of the Ter- 
ritorial government. But a very few years ago 
there resided a man in Fort Collins who, having 
acquired a few lots in Denver in a horse trade, 
allowed them to be sold for taxes rather than throw 
away any more money on them. The town of 
Colona was located a short distance west of the 
present town of Laporte, but the ford of the Cache 
la Poudre being lower down the stream and prac- 
tically at the point where the bridge crosses at 
Laporte, the site of the town was later abandoned 
and a new town site called Laporte was located at 
the ford. In 1859 Mr. Provost erected a log house 
on the south side of the river in which he kept a 
grocery and a saloon. This house is still standing 
and is occupied by Rowland Herring and family. 
That year Mr. Provost also built and operated a 
ferry across the river during flood times for the ac- 
commodation of emigrants, but the early June flood 
of that year carried his boat down stream, so that 



[45] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



when Horace Greeley and party passed that way on 
June 21st, he had to ford the stream at considerable 
risk. Mr. Provost also operated a ferry at that 
point during the big flood of June, 1864, and, as the 
travel westward was heavy that season, he coined 
money, charging $10.00 for taking a double team 
across and $5.00 for a man on horseback. The 
same year that the Provost colony located at Colona, 
Mariana Modeno, a Mexican, located a squatter's 
claim in the valley of the Big Thompson, about 
three miles west of the present city of Loveland. He 
claimed to be and probably was the first permanent 
settler in that valley. Thus, practically simultane- 
ously, began the history of the settlements on the 
two principal streams of the county. Colona, how- 
ever, was the most important and most ambitious of 
the two, the Big Thompson pioneer wishing merely 
to establish a home where he could raise cattle and 
horses and live out his days in peace. Mariana's 
place aifterward became known as Namaqua, and 
was made an Overland stage .station in 1862. 
Mariana died in 1878. The family of George Hat- 
field, composed of himself, wife and one child, was 
the first family to make a permanent location on the 
Big Thompson. Other settlers, including Wm. A. 
Bean, John J. Ryan, John Hahn, J. N. Hollowell, 
Judge W. B. Osborn, Thos. H. Johnson and W. C. 
Stover, came in 1860. 

In 1859 Rock Bush came from Green river, 
Wyoming, where he had been employed for two 
years on a ferry, and took up a claim on the north 
bank of the Cache la Poudre river, about three miles 
southeast of Laporte, where he still lives. At this 
time there was but one other settler on the stream 
between his place and the mouth of the river, and 
that was Robert Boyd, who also had a claim a little 
way west of the present city of Greeley. Mr. Bush 
was born in Canada in 1832, came west to Fort 
Bridger in 1857, where he remained two years and 
then moved to the Cache la Poudre valley. He 
married Johanna Forbes after he came here, by 
whom he has had five children, Rock Jr., Guy, 
George, Amelia and Gussie Bush. Mr. Bush is still 
living in the enjoyment of fairly good health and a 
serene old age. He is the only man left of that 
valiant and hardy company that located in this 
valley in 1858-9. In 1860, quite a number of set- 
tlers located in the valley, including J. M. Sher- 
wood, F. W. Sherwood, A. F. Howes, Joseph 
Knight, Alphonse LaRoque, Joseph Mason, James 
B. Arthur, John Arthur, Thos. Cline, E. B. Davis, 
Daniel Davis, John Davis, G. R. Strauss, Joseph 

[46] 



Prendergast, Dwight Scoutton, Thomas Earnest, 
Ranger Jones, and Fletcher Earnest. 

Many of these first settlers came across the Plains 
in the Pike's Peak rush of 1858-1859 and 1860, and 
being disappointed in their quest for gold, sought 
homes in the fertile valleys of the Cache la Poudre 
and Big Thompson rivers, and the population of the 
county in the fall of 1860 was about one hundred. 
Early recognizing the necessity for some form of 
government and rules and regulations governing 
the location of claims and the restraining of lawless- 
ness by which life and rights of property might be 
protected, the settlers in the fall of that year organ- 
ized a Claim Club association. Robert Hereford 
was chosen president; John J. Ryan, secretary, and 
J. M. Sherwood, judge, and a short but very strin- 
gent code of laws was adopted. As the Cache la 
Poudre and the Big Thompson valleys formed the 
district over which the association claimed jurisdic- 
tion, the code of laws and the association constituted 
the first form of government set up for Larimer 
county, and those who lived under it in the early 
days declare that more equal and exact justice was 
never meted out than while the association existed. 
Negroes were excluded from membership, owing to 
race prejudice. Each member of the association was 
allowed to locate upon and occupy 160 acres of land 
and was protected in all rights acquired by such oc- 
cupancy. The uncertainty as to which government 
the region owed allegience, whether that of Kansas 
or Nebraska, made an organization of that character 
vitally necessary, for, while in the main the orig- 
inal settlers were peaceable, law-abiding citizens, 
with a just conception of the rights of property and 
what constituted law and order, there were a few 
among them whose conduct at times laid them open 
to suspicion of being outlaws and desperadoes, who 
needed to be placed under wholesome restraint. An 
association of the character named, bound together 
for mutual protection, whose members were so will- 
ing to live up to its salutary rules and regulations, 
soon gained respect and confidence, and few there 
were, ■ indeed, who had the hardihood to lay them- 
selves liable to fall under contempt of the association, 
for its judgments were severe and its penalities were 
executed with promptness and dispatch. All dis- 
putes were referred to the association judge. Dis- 
satisfied parties could appeal to the president, whose 
decision was final. 

When the Territory of Colorado was organized 
in 1861, Governor Gilpin appointed F. W. Sher- 
wood, John J. Ryan and A. F. Howes as a board of 
commissioners for Larimer county. At the first 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



meeting of this board an informal discussion de- 
veloped that Mr. Howes favored the location of the 
County Seat at Laporte and the immediate erection 
of a stone court house. Mr. Sherwood took positive 
grounds against the proposition, while Mr. Ryan 
remained neutral. The result was that the board 
could not agree and failed to complete an organiza- 
tion, despite frequent and earnest appeals from the 
Governor. Early in 1862 Governor Gilpin ap- 
pointed a new board composed of Joseph Mason, 
W. B. Osborn and James B. Arthur. This board 
promptly organized by electing Mr. Osborn chair- 
man. The proceedings of that meeting show that 
among the first acts preformed was the laying out 
and establishing of three commissioner districts for 
the county, the boundaries of which remaining to 
this day, practically as they were then fixed. The 
records do not show that this board ever held 
another meeting or did anything else of a public 
nature, and their offices appear to have been 
declared vacant, for, in 1864, Governor John 
Evans, who succeeded Governor Gilpin, appointed 
Abner Loomis, John Heath, and William A. 
Bean, commissioners for Larimer county. They 
immediately qualified and at the first meeting 
elected Mr. Loomis chairman. This meeting was 
held at Laporte, beginning October 8th, and the 
principal business before the board at that time ap- 
pears to have been the inspection and approval of 
the bonds of the new county officers. These were 
H. B. Chubbuck, county superintendent of schools; 
Henry Arrison, sheriff; H. W. Chamberlin, clerk 
and recorder; B. T. Whedbee, treasurer; James M. 
Smith, assessor; John E. Washburn, county judge. 
In July, 1862, there occurred an Indian scare on 
the Poudre that set the settlers wild with fright and 
a rush of men, women and children for a place of 
safety followed. A few days before a band of Utes 
slipped down out of the hills and ran off some 
horses belonging to J. M. and F. W. Sherwood. 
The settlers were afraid to pursue the redskins into 
the hills for they did not know how many Utes were 
in the band, but they kept a sharp lookout for fear 
the Indians would return and raid other ranches. 
On the day the second board of commissioners 
appointed by Governor Gilpin organized, a man 
named Bassett saw the Indian wives of several La- 
porte settlers picking berries and, mistaking them 
for Utes, gave the alarm. With a speed that seems 
incredible, the news spread up and down the river 
and nearly everybody rushed for Laporte. James 
B. Arthur and John Thatcher happened to be at 
Laporte when the alarm was given, and they started 



in hot haste for the Arthur ranch down the river, 
where there was a strong log house having loop 
holes for use in defending Chief Friday's band of- 
Arapahoes, then located on the north side of the 
river opposite the Sherwood ranch, and when Friday 
heard of the supposed raid, he ordered his fighting 
men to mount their horses and go to Spring canon 
in pursuit of their enemies, the Utes. Several set- 
tlers mistook Friday's men for Utes, although J. M. 
Sherwood was with the pursuing party, and dropped 
everything in their hurry to get under cover. When 



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PIONEER TRANSPORTATION TRAIN 

Paul Tharp reached Laporte, he was in light travel- 
ing trim, having left coat, hat, gun along the trail, 
and he found the settlers prepared for defending 
themselves. Settlers in the lower Poudre gathered 
at Arthur's. The following morning the truth be- 
came known all along the river, and the scare was 
over. ; , •■: 

The last Indian scare on the Big Thompson oc- 
curred in 1864, when six Utes stampeded Mariana's 
horse herd and run several of the animals into the 
mountains. So badly frightened were the settlers 
that they left everything and fled for safety. On 
the raid the Indians killed a Mexican in Mariana's 
employe, horribly mutilating his body. Word was 
sent to Laporte and a detachment of soldiers from 
the 11th Ohio cavalry pursued the Utes and re- 
covered the horses. One of the two Indians that 
were guarding the horses was killed, but the other, 
badly wounded, escaped only to die in a lonely cabin, 
where his body was found later. 

In 1862, A. F. Howes, as county clerk, recorded a 
number of squatters filings on lands, powers of at- 
torney and real estate and chattel mortgages. W. B. 
Osborn had been appointed probate judge by Gov- 
ernor Gilpin but the records do not show that he 



[47] 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER COUNTY 



COLORADO 



transacted any business, although he held court at 
Laporte on the days set apart by law. Henry Arrison 
was the first sheriff of the county. The records 
kept by A. F. Howes, as clerk and recorder, were 
some of them in his own handwriting, but the most 
of them seemed to have been recorded by Hal Sayre 
and J. C. Peabody. The record opens January 31, 
1862, with a land filing in which Hal Sayre sets 
forth that he claims a certain tract of land described 
as follows: "Beginning at the southeast corner of 
E. O. Fritt's house, running thence north 76 degrees 
6 minutes east to the top of a small knoll, whence 
the following houses will be at the following bear- 
ings: E. W. Raymond south 62 degrees 39 minutes 
west; R. G. Strauss south 11 degrees 15 minutes 
west, from this point north 46 degrees 30 minutes 
east 19 chains to a post which marks the southwest 
corner of this claim ; thence north 20 degrees 60 
chains; thence south 70 degrees east 26.65 chains; 
thence south 20 degrees west 60 chains; thence 
north 70 degrees west 26.65 chains to place of be- 
ginning." 

This description, though it may seem a little in- 
definite in this day and age, was probably as good as 
could have been given at the time, for the country 
had not then been surveyed into sections and town- 
ships. 

On the 17th of March, 1862, the Laporte Town- 
site company filed a squatter's claim to 1280 acres of 
land, which was laid off into lots and blocks, in the 
expectation, no doubt, that here would be the future 
metropolis of the Rocky Mountain region. A. F. 
Howes was president of the company and Hal Sayre, 
secretary. On some date between March 24th and 
August 6, 1862, the day not being named, the con- 
stitution was spread on the records bearing the sig- 
natures of Benj. Sylvester, John F. VanDeventer, C. 
Randall, Thos. Pryce, N. Janis, F. R. and Antoine 
Janis, John L. Buell, by A. F. Howes, E. W. Ray- 
mond, Henry A. Swift, by A. F. Howes, his attor- 
ney, and A. F. Howes. The next mention of the 
company on the record the name of Abner Loomis 
appears as president and J. C. Peabody secretary. 
The capital stock of the company was fixed at $120,- 
000. In September of that year the Townsite com- 
pany sold to Benjamin Holladay block 238 and 
leased to him block 237 for corrals and stables for 
the Overland Stage company, reserving one lot 25 
feet wide on Pawnee street, on which was located 
the stage station. The lease on block 237 was to run 
as long as the Stage Company should continue to 
carry the United States mail on the route from St. 
Joseph, Missouri, to Salt Lake City, Utah. A post- 

[48] 



office, the first established in the county, was 
opened at Laporte in June, 1862. In the old record 
book from which these entrees are copied are 99 
filings, the 98th and 99th being placed on record 
October 24th, 1863. These papers were convey- 
ances from Jesse M. Sherwood and F. W. Sher- 
wood to Ben Holladay, in which the grantors 
deeded to the grantee all their rights and interests 
in and to their farms at and near the mouth of the 
Boxelder creek, along the Cache la Poudre. 

The first Territorial Legislature met in Denver 
September 9th, 1861. Larimer and Weld counties 
were included in one, the First Council and Rep- 
resentative district. H. J. Graham was elected to 
represent the district in the council and Daniel 
Steele as representative. Steele was a man of some 
education, but his opponent could neither read nor 
write and based his claim to the office on the fact 
that he had good common sense and wore a hand- 
somely trimmed and decorated suit of buckskin. 
The election was held at Laporte and A. F. Howes 
and F. W. Sherwood were the judges. An old 
camp coffee pot served the purpose of a ballot box. 
Along in the afternoon a dispute arose among the 
adherents of the two candidates as to which had 
polled the greater number of votes up to that time. 
Money flashed and bets were made and to settle the 
controversy the table was cleared of books and loose 
papers, the votes turned out of the coffee pot and 
counted, when it was found that Steele was ahead. 
This was a frontier way of doing, but in those days 
the art of ballot box stuffing had not been intro- 
duced and an honest ballot and a fair count was the 
rule. In 1862 Joseph Kenyon was elected repre- 
sentative. For the third Territorial Legislature, 
which assembled in 1 864, Boulder, Larimer, ■ and 
Weld counties sent Amos Widner to the oouncH 
and Larimer and Weld selected A. Or PatterSoii-'as 
representative, but he did not appear during the 
session. For the fourth Legislature, which met in 
1865, the council and representative districts re- 
elected Widner and Patterson. In 1866 J. M. 
Marshall went to the council and B. F. Johnson 
to the lower house, from Larimer and Weld, Mr. 
Johnson being replaced in 1867 by Peter Winne. 
In the seventh Legislature James H. Pinkerton was 
councilman and Harris Stratton representative; in 
the eighth, 1870, Jesse M. Sherwood was council- 
man and M. S. Taylor, representative. W. C. 
Stover represented Larimer county in the council 
of the 9th Legislature in 1872, and B. F. Eaton in 
the lower house; in the 10th Legislature, R. G. 
Buckingham and D. H. Nichols were the county's 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



representatives in the council and lower house re- 
spectively, and in the 11th Legislature which con- 
vened in Denver Jan. 1876, B. H. Eaton and N. H. 
Meldrum had seats in the council and house re- 
spectively from Larimer county. The 11th Legisla- 
ture was the last of the Territorial Legislatures. 
John E. Washburn and Capt. C. C. Hawley were 
members from Larimer county in the Constitutional 
convention which met in Denver on the second 
Monday in July 1864, to frame a state Constitu- 
tion. At the election held on the second Tuesday 
in October of that year, the Constitution framed by 
this convention was rejected by the people on the 
score of economy. The following year another con- 
vention was held which submitted a draft of a Con- 
stitution to the people and it was adopted. William 
Gilpin was elected Governor. The Legislature met 
and elected John Evans and Jerome B. Chaffee 
United States senators. Congress consented to ad- 
mit the state of Colorado into the union, but Presi- 
dent Johnson vetoed the bill. The matter was re- 
vived periodically for ten years. On the 3rd of 
March, 1875, Congress passed an enabling act, 
authorizing the electors to vote, in July, 1876, upon 
a Constitution to be formed in a convention to be 
held at Denver before that time. This convention 
met in Odd Fellows hall in Denver on Monday, 



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HORSETOOTH MOUNTAIN, NEAR FORT COLLINS 

the 20th day of December, 1875, and organized by 
electing J. C. Wilson of El Paso county, president, 
and W. W. Coulson, secretary. Larimer county 
was represented in this convention by William C. 
Stover, father of F. W. Stover, the present county 
Judge, and A. K. Yount of Fort Collins, repre- 
sented Larimer and Weld counties. The conven- 
tion completed its labors on Wednesday, March 
15th, 1876, and adjourned, having fixed July 1st, 



1876, as the day on which an election should be held 
to approve or disapprove of the Constitution sub- 
mitted. The election was held on the day named 
and the Constitution was adopted by a vote of 
15,443 for, to 4,039 against its acceptance. On the 
the first of August, 1876, President U. S. Grant 
issued a proclamation admitting the state of Colo- 
rado into the Union. 

Denver had long been working to have the regu- 
lar Overland state route laid up the South Platte, 
and when Ben Holladay became proprietor of the 
line, he agreed upon a route running through Den- 
ver and from that point west, and to discontinue the 
North Platte route. The fact that the Indians had 
become troublesome on the North Platte route in 
1862, had also some weight with him in deciding 
to make the change. The change was made in the 
month of June, 1862, and remarkable to relate, the 
transfer to the new line was so successfully accom- 
plished that not a mail was missed or a coach de- 
layed. From Denver the route followed the old 
Cherokee trail just outside the hogbacks to Laporte, 
thence through Virginia Dale to the Laramie plains 
and on to Salt Lake. Troops were stationed along 
the line to guard against attacks by the savages. 
Stage stations were established at Mariana's on the 
Big Thompson, Laporte and Virginia Dale. James 
Boutwell was the first keeper of the station on the 
Big Thompson, and the notorious Slade opened the 
station at Virginia Dale, and A. R. ChafiEee, father 
of County Commissioner Frank Chaffee, had charge 
of the Laporte station in 1863. When it became 
advisable for the desperado Slade to leave the 
country for the country's good, he was succeeded by 
W. S. Taylor, who later took charge of the Laporte 
station. The stage line across the country north 
from Denver was frequently changed. First it fol- 
lowed the hogbacks from the Big Thompson to 
Laporte, where it left the plains and entered the 
mountains. Then the route was changed so as to 
pass through Fort Collins. At one time the cross- 
ing of the Big Thompson was at the Washburn 
ranch near where Loveland is now, and J. E. Wash- 
burn was the agent. From there it crossed the 
divide to the Sherwood ranch on the Cache la 
Poudre and thence across the country to Park sta- 
tion, where it entered the mountains. For a short 
time the stage crossed the South Platte at Latham 
and then followed the Poudre river to the moun- 
tains. 

The real history of the white settlement of Lari- ^ 
mer county begins when Antoine Janis located a 
squatter's claim on the Cache la Poudre river a short 

[49] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



distance west of Laporte. Whether he continued to 
live on the claim from that time until the arrival of 
the Colona colony in 1858, we have no means of 
knowing as the records are silent on that point. But 
that he called it his home and remained in possession 
of it until 1878, when he sold it to Tobe Miller, 
there is no doubt. At that time and for many years 
before, the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians claimed 
and occupied all of Larimer and adjoining counties 
and it was through sufEerance that the whites were 
allowed to gain a foothold on the plains immed- 




STEAMBOAT ROCK, LIVERMORE 

iately east of the mountains. Antoine Janis tells us 
that these Indians ceded to him all the land in the 
Cache la Poudre valley lying between the moun- 
tains and the mouth of Boxelder creek, — a princely 
estate even in those wild days. In 1861, a treaty 
was made with these Indians at Bent's fort, by 
which all of their lands east of the mountains was 
ceded to the United States. From that time on 
white settlers were entitled to all the protection the 
government could afford them. They had a right 
to file upon, occupy and improve claims to public 
land regardless of Indian protests. These protests 
were frequent and often mandatory, as the Indians 
had no sooner signed away their lands than they re- 
gretted it. They had been persuaded to make the 
treaty, which dispossessed them of their ancient 
heritage by the usual means, presents, promises of 
annuities and mystification. The more the act was 
contemplated, the more determined they became to 
expel the settlers and regain what they had so fool- 
ishly surrendered. This led to frequent outbreaks, 
raids upon the settlers and the shedding of much 
blood in subsequent years. 

"It seems eminently proper," says Gen. Frank 
Hall in his history of Colorado, "to submit a brief 
statement relating to such of the Indian tribes — ^the 
aboriginal owners of the territory lying between the 
Missouri river and the Rocky Mountains, as may 

[50] 



have a bearing upon the prehistoric annals of the 
country. To attempt anything like a history of all 
the tribes would lead us too far from the general 
purpose of this work, besides, occupying space that 
may be more profitably devoted to other matters. 
But the subject is at least one well worthy of pass- 
ing consideration. The enlightened emigrant of 
1858 — and his followers in subsequent years, given 
to close observation, naturally expended some earnest 
thought upon the natives he encountered, and natu- 
rally enough, wondered how and whence they came, 
or, if they had always roamed up and down the 
country spending their time in war and the chase. 
He met the remnants of once numerous and power- 
ful nations now decimated and degraded to mere 
fragments, stripped of power and reduced to beg- 
gary. What were they in the zenith of their 
strength? Their destiny was already manifest; re- 
quiring no prophetic vision to foretell the closing 
scene. Overborne by the surging tide of an irresist- 
ible movement, there could be but one result — their 
extinction. If men sow not, neither shall they reap. 
The redmen stubbornly refused to accept the con- 
ditions held up to them by modern law, so they 
were plowed under and forgotten. The whirlwind 
of civilized force swept over and blotted them out. 
Though renowned in war with their own species, 
they became helpless as babes before the resistless 
torrent. Humanitarians call it harsh, barbarous 
and cruel, but it was predestined. The march of 
progress from Plymouth Rock to the western rivers 
had been marked by trails of fire and blood. The 
Christian fathers carried their guns and torches, as 
we ours, and aimed to kill. There was no middle 
course. The crusade begun from the anchorage of 
the Mayflower, was not ordained to stop until it had 
mastered the continent. We could not halt at the 
Mississippi or Missouri and declare that all east of 
that line should belong to the white man and all 
west of it to the red; that half of the continent 
should be devoted to the pursuits of civilization, and 
the balance permitted to continue unimproved and 
under the rule of savages who would neither toil nor 
spin. And so the sanguinary procession advanced, 
the white man took possession and the barbarians 
disappeared. 

"The Cheyenne, Arapahoes and Kiowas of whom 
the early emigrants had most intimate knowledge 
through frequent encounters were strong, warlike 
and cruel. There was a report that the Arapahoes 
were descended from the Blackfeet; that a hunting 
party accompanied by their families came down from 
the North to the Platte about eighty-five years ago, 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



and being cut ofE by a severe snow storm, wintered 
here. The season in this latitude being mild and 
pleasant, the country abounding in game, and gen- 
erally a better region to live in than the one they had 
left, they decided to remain. How much truth 
there may be in the story, if any, we are unable to 
say. We found them here and know that they 
roamed the plains in large numbers from the coun- 
try of the Pawnees to the base of the mountains and 
down into the valley of the Arkansas river. The 
Cheyennes were pushed westward from Dakota by' 
the more powerful Sioux, and located first in the 
Black Hills, where they divided and scattered, the 
larger portion uniting with the Arapahoes, a union 
which continued unbroken to the last. Intensely 
warlike, of robust physique, scarcely less skilful 
than the Sioux, these two tribes were in almost con- 
stant conflict with their enemies of other nations, but 
more especially with the Utes, whom they hated 
with unquenchable malevolence and by whom the 
feeling was fully reciprocated. 

"The Utes, members of the Snake family, have 
held the parks and the valleys of the mountains to be 
their exclusive property from time immemorial, and 
contended for these rights successfully against all 
comers. Though attacked periodically and in force 
by other nations, they were never dislodged, and 
never yielded an inch of their domain until com- 
pelled to part with it under recent treaties." 

The settlers in the valley of the Cache la Poudre 
previous to 1861, were few and far between if we 
exclude those who located at what is now Laporte in 
1858. They could almost be counted on the fingers 
of the two hands, the most prominent of them being 
'James B. Arthur, Joseph Mason, John Arthur, 
Jeseph Prendergast, E. B. Davis, Dwight Scoutten, 
Ranger Jones, Thos. Earnest, J. M. and F. W. 
Sherwood, G. R. Strauss and a few others, all of 
whom located on the river bottoms southeast of the 
present city of Fort Collins in 1860. Joseph Mason 
purchased a claim located on the south side of the 
river about a mile above Fort Collins, and Rock 
Bush filed on a claim on the north side of the river 
in 1859, which he still owns and occupies. After 
the title to the Indian lands passed to the United 
States, settlers came in faster and at the close of 
1861, nearly all of the bottom lands along the river 
from Laporte down to where Greeley now stands 
had been taken up. Among the settlers who filed 
on claims that year were the following: Hal Sayr, 
E. W. Raymond, E. Reed, John C. Peabody, C. J. 
Randall, A. J. Ames, Joseph Newton, Sus Lewis, 
E. D. Fritts, Nathaniel Perkins, A. Sprague, C. S. 



Fassett, William Halford, A. F. Howes, B. Syl- 
vester, G. R. Strauss, A. L. Snodderly, Mahlon 
Smith, M. S. Warder, H. B. Blevins, Paul Donan, 
Francis Belange. John G. Coy filed on his claim 
in August, 1862. In 1862, John B. Larster, Frank 
Long, W. W. Wyner, Samuel Heffner, William 
McGaa, Joseph 'Voore, N. Levine, John P. Martin, 
Andrew Lamarch, John A. Lattie, Hiram Harmon, 
filed on claims in the Big Thompson valley: 
Thomas McBride, G. R. Sanderson, Isaac W. Mor- 
ris, J. Bradstreet, W. N. FalHs, A. C. Kenyon, A. 
C. Griffin, Joseph Filthian, Joseph Merivale, Will- 
iam J. Parker, A. F. Woodward, D. W. Buell, 



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FISHING SCENE ON THE CACHE LA POUDRE 

Joseph Bocus, E. C. McGinnes, J. M. Aker, 
George Luce, T. B. Farmer, J. G. Farmer, R. E. 
Lawrence, Frank Lacy, Selma Watson, and Will- 
iam Ebersole on claims in the Cache la Poudre 
valley. But few of these became permanent set- 
tlers. They located claims for the purpose of selling 
out to new comers and when they had disposed of 
their holdings, moved on to other fields. The 
transfer of the Overland stage route in 1862 from 
the North to the South Platte and the running of 
daily coaches through here had the effect of direct- 
ing attention to the advantages ofEered homeseekers 
in the Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson valleys, 
with the result that there were many new-comers 
during the years 1862, 1863 and 1864, so that be- 
fore the end of the year last named the Cache la 
Poudre valley boasted of quite a large community. 
By this time so beneficial had been found the 
climatic influences of Colorado and her fame as a 
sanatarium having become wide-spread, that the in- 
flux of health-seekers grew larger year by year. The 
dryness and lightness of the air and its invigorating 

[51] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



character together with the almost constant preva- 
lence of sunshine, imparted new vigor and energy to 
the well, and gave a new lease of life to those whose 
constitutions were impared. Here on this great 
plateau, a mile above the sea, far removed from the 
fogs, chilling winds and damp atmosphere of either 
ocean, all the conditions of life to the new-comer 
were fresh and inspiring. But all those who came 
in the early days were by no means invalids. For 
the most part they were men in the prime of life, 
with strong, vigorous constitutions, level-headed, 
brave of heart, energetic and enterprising, possess- 
ing great capacity for work and filled with a desire 
to help plant the banner of civilization in the wilder- 
ness. That they builded better than they knew is 
now evident by a teeming and prosperous popula- 
tion, with villages, towns, and cities dotting the 
plains, with their churches, schools and higher in- 
stitutions of learning; by the rush of the iron horse 
and by social conditions that are not excelled in any 
of the older states. 

In the rush for gold in |he earlier years of Colo- 
rado but little attention was paid to agriculture. 
That was thought to be too slow a method for ac- 
cumulating wealth. Most of the piofleers expected 
to garner a fortune in the mines and return to their 
homes in the east and enjoy their gains, surrounded 
by more civilizing influences than were to be found 
in the Rocky Mountains. Many accomplished their 
ends and did return eastward, but by far the greater 
number either lacked the means to recross the plains 
or attracted by the climate and the great dormant 
possibilities of the country, remained and engaged in 
farming or stock raising. They were incited to do 
this from the high price of provisions, and in view 
of the fact, since everything consumed came from the 
eastern states and was often months on the way, 
that a scarcity might sometimes bring with it high 
prices to the farmers. It was not long until the 
lands bordering the streams on the plains and the 
valleys of the mountains were found to be extremely 
fertile and capable of producing enormous crops. 
At first farming was, in the main, limited to the 
raising of vegetables and the cutting and curing of 
the native grasses, for hay, for which there was a 
great demand in the mining camps, at highly re- 
munerative prices. Native grasses grew luxuriously 
over the bottom lands of the streams and this was 
cut and cured by the settlers, hauled to Denver, 
Central City and Blackhawk and sold to the miners 
and livery men. Hay at times commanded as much 
as $150 per ton, and vegetables of all kinds were 
much sought after. The story is told that small 

[52] 



cabbages sold in Denver in 1861 for $5 per head, 
but it is not vouched for. While the area of cul- 
tivated land was small during the first decade and 
confined altogether to the margins of the streams, 
farming had become an important industry in the 
Big Thompson and Cache la Poudre valleys in 1867 
-8, the cultivation of wheat having been successfully 
introduced, due to irrigation, and then came the de- 
mand for mills to convert the wheat into flour. This 
demand was promptly met in the Cache la Poudre 
by Mrs. Elizabeth Stone and H. C. Petterson who 
built the Linden Mills in 1868. A mill was built 
the same year in the Big Thompson valley by An- 
drew Douty. From this time a more rapid move- 
ment took place in the way of peopling the county, 
so that when the first federal census was taken in 
1870, the population had grown to 838. Ditches 
to carry water from the streams to irrigate what 
was called the bench or bluff lands were built, and 
it was found that larger yields "of wheat of a better 
quality could be produced on these lands than on the 
river bottoms. Fifty, sixty and even seventy bushels 
of the finest wheat in the world were often har- 
vested from the bench lands, so that in a few years 
the farmers of Colorado began to produce more 
wheat than was needed for Colorado consumption, 
causing a decline in the price. In the late seventies 
and early eighties the price of wheat fell to 50 and 
60 cents a bushel, which left the farmer little or no 
profit. Meanwhile the county kept settling up so 
that in 1880 it had a population of 4,892. In 1890 
this had increased to 9,712, in 1900 to 12,168, and 
in 1910 to 25,270. 

But it was not all fair sailing with the pioneers. 
They had many obstacles and difficulties to over- ' 
come in addition to years of toil, hardship and priva- 
tion. Irrigating canals had to be built, homes to be 
erected consisting more often of log cabins than 
otherwise, with the timbers they and the fences and 
corrals were made of far up in the mountains a day's 
journey away; with farm implements and seed to be 
obtained from the Missouri river, six hundred miles 
away. They were also surrounded by unfamiliar 
conditions, often terrorized by blood thirsty savages, 
frequently limited in food supplies and went hungry. 
But the pioneers, those who remained and continued 
the struggle were active, earnest, true-hearted men 
and women who set themselves to work with a spirit 
that deserved and achieved success. Among the dis- 
couragements and disappointments that would have 
disheartened and demoralized men made of less 
sterner stuiif, was the grasshopper visitation that 
came upon them just before harvest time in 1873, 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



These destructive insects came down upon the fields 
of the growing grain in vast clouds and consumed 
every green thing in their paths. Fields that gave 
promise of rich yields of golden grain, nearly ready 
for the sickle, were swept away as if by fire, leaving 
nothing but desolation for the farmers to gaze upon 
after all his toil and labor. Hope nearly gave away 
to despair. The visitation was not confined to one 
section, but spread itself over the grain fields in all 
portions of the Territory, so that the bread supply 
of the settlers was practically all wiped out. What 




PIONEER RESTAURANT 

made the situation still worse was that there was 
but little money in the country, for a financial panic 
had struck the entire nation and banks everywhere 
went toppling to the wall. Those able to withstand 
the wave of business depression were afraid to loan 
money, so that the out-look was truly disheartening. 
But, with Spartan courage and indomitable wills, 
men and women alike kept up the fight for suprem- 
acy against what seemed at times like insurmount- 
able obstacles and difficulties, and finally won the 
victory. Development of the country was retarded 
by the grasshopper plague which tormented the set- 
tlers for two successive years, though people con- 
tinued to come from the east in search of homes in 
the Golden west, though not in such large numbers 
however, until after conditions began to improve. 
How the pioneers subsisted during those trying 
years, only those who passed through the disappoint- 
ments, privations and hardships they endured, can 
form an adequate conception. 

Stock growing early became an important industry 
in Larimer county and in the late 60's and early 70's, 
thousands of head of cattle, great bands of horses 
and flocks of sheep grazed upon the rich pasture 



lands of the plains and the valleys of the mountains. 
The mildness of the climate, the vast grazing ground 
on the plains, the ranges in the mountain parks and 
valleys all tended to make stock growing profitable 
as well as pleasant. Large fortunes were acquired 
in this industry and many of the new comers engaged 
in it. At one time Larimer county ranked second 
in the state in the number of head of live stock 
owned and run upon its ranges. Nearly 50,000 
head of cattle and 75,000 she^p were assessed for 
taxation in 1878, but as settlers came in and took 
up farms the range became restricted so that many 
of the cattlemen moved their herds to Wyomitig 
where there was a wider scope of unoccupied coun- 
try for stock to range over and feed upon. Though 
there are still many thousands of domestic animals 
in the county, the herds are not as large as they 
were in the early days. The character and quality 
of these animals have greatly improved in recent 
years by the introduction of registered Hereford, 
Shorthorns, Jerseys, and other high bred cattle, so 
that prize takers at the stock shows of the country 
are now being produced. 

We will npw resume th"S story of the early set- 
tlements from which digression has taken us off to 
allied subjects. 

In the spring of 1860, the Seventh United States 
infantry came down over the Cherokee trail and 
passed through Colona (now Laporte) on the way 
to Bent's fort. This regiment had been sent to Utah 
in 1858, to assist in quelling an anticipated Mormon 
uprising and to compel an obedience to the law of 
the government. Its mission ended, the regiment 
was called back to the Arkansas valley. Part of the 
command encamped over night at Spring canon. 
Joseph Frendergast, chief of the wagon train, had 
received his discharge on expiration of term of ser- 
vice and when the regiment reached the Cache la 
Poudre valley he became and remained a valued citi- 
zen of the county. G. R. Strauss was another mem- 
ber of General Sidney Johnston's expedition to Salt 
Lake, who tarried here on his way east and set about 
building himself a home in the Cache la Poudre val- 
ley. He located first on the A. J. Ames place, now 
known as the Slockett farm, later moving to the 
Strauss farm near Timnath, where he lived until 
his death in 1904. Joseph Lariviere took up a piece 
of land adjoining Rock Bush's claim on the west, 
and Phillip Lariviere filed on what is now known as 
the Inverness farm. In 1860 Abner Loomis, Joseph 
Whitsall and William Faith purchased adjoining 
claims in Pleasant valley for stock ranches. Mr. 
Loomis was then engaged in freighting from the 

[53] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Missouri river, making two trips a year. One sea- 
son he made three trips, making a total of eleven 
round trips across the plains in the years 1862, 
63, 64, 65. A. R. Chaffee rode into the Big Thomp- 
son valley in 1862 astride a mule. Tired and hun- 
gry he rode up to a cabin about which he saw a 
white man, and asked for something to eat for him- 
self and his mule. Being told that he could have it 
Mr. Chaffee put up his mule and entered the cabin. 
Over a fire in one corner he saw a kettle, before 
which sat an Indian woman. Ravenously hungry, 
Mr. Chaffee noticed with disappointment, the slim 
peparations being made for a meal, but it was too far 
to the next cabin, so he waited developments. A 
little later the man of the house came in, the kettle 
was placed on the floor in the center of the room and 
the guest was told to help himself. Apologizing for 
the slim fare. Jack Jones, the proprietor, stated that 
there was not a pound of flour in the settlement and 
hadn't been for some time; further, that he had no 
idea when there would be any. Jack Jones' real 
name was William McGaa, and his oldest son was 
the first child born in Denver and bore the name of 
his birthplace — -Denver McGaa. The boy grew to 
manhood in the Cache la Poudre valley, but went 
to Pine Ridge agency in the early 80's to join the 
tribe of Indians of which his mother was a member. 
He has revisited the scene of his boyhood on several 
occasions but not to stay long, prefering the nomadic 
life of the aboriginees to the career of the average 
hardworking white man. 

Soldiers Establish Camp at LaPorte 

In 1863, Co. B of the First Colorado volunteer 
cavalry, was stationed for a few weeks at Laporte, 
employed in guarding the mountain division of the 
Overland stage line and the emigrant trail against 
depredations by the Indians, raids of white despera- 
does and stock thieves, with which the country was 
infested at that time. The desperadoes and stock 
thieves, mainly Mexicans with, perhaps, a dare-devil 
white man as leader, were more dreaded by the early 
settlers than the Indians, for the Plains Indians very 
seldom interfered with the property of white men 
in the country, but they were often charged with 
running off stock when they were not guilty. The 
white or Mexican marauders stole the stock and 
laid the theft to the redmen to avoid suspicion of 
themselves. In this way the Indians, though inno- 
cent, were often blamed for things they did not do, 
which enabled the real offenders to get away with 
their booty. The troops patroled the stage line from 

[54] 



Laporte to Laramie Plains and often a detail of 
soldiers was sent out with the coaches and also with 
trains of emigrants to protect them from raiders. 
The United States mails were carried by the Over- 
land stage and they had to be protected by the gov- 
ernment from interference by the Indians and white 
desperadoes. Thousands of emigrants were moving 




FALLS OF THE CACHE LA POUDRE 



westward in those days and they also claimed and re- 
ceived, so far as it was possible, the same protection. 
The result was the soldiers were kept pretty busy 
most of the time. After a stage coach or a train of 
emigrants had been guarded by soldiers from La- 
porte to Willow Springs on the Laramie Plains, it 
was turned over to another detail of troops which 
accompanied the travelers to the next division point; 
the first detail returning to their post at Laporte. 
In this way the line was kept open and practically 
undisturbed, for the Indians and desperadoes had a 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



healthy fear of the soldiers and generally gave them 
a wide berth. Occasionally a band of Indians or 
white marauders would swoop down upon a guarded 
stage coach or a protected emigrant train and either 
overpower or kill the guards and run off the stock, 
but these raids did not occur very often. The road 
from Denver to Willow Springs was kept open all 
of the time and travelers were seldom molested. 
From Willow Springs westward across the Laramie 
Plains the stage and emigrant trains had more or 
less trouble from raids by the Indians, and many of 
the people lost their lives through the rapacity of the 
savages. Road agents or stage robbers' gave the 
Overland company more trouble than the Indians. 
They usually did their work in the night while the 
Indians very seldom operated after dark. In Septem- 
ber, 1862, an east bound Overland coach was held 
up near the North Platte crossing and robbed by 
two men. The driver was killed and the robbers 
carried off a small iron safe, which contained $70,- 
000 in gold dust that was being sent east from Cal- 
ifornia by express. There is a tradition to the 
effect that this treasury box was brought down 
the line to Virginia Dale and hidden in the hills 
near the station. Later that fall two prospect- 
ors, a German and an Irishman, on their way to 
Denver, made their appearance at John B. Provost's 
in Laporte, with a large quantity of gold dust 
which they claimed to have taken from a mine 
in the mountains which they had discovered. In 
the spring of 1863 they again passed Provost's on 
their way to the mountains, returning in the fall 
with between $6,000 and $7,000 in gold dust 
which they said came from their mine, the loca- 
tion of which they refused to make known. The 
following winter, so the story goes, the Irishman 
was killed in a quarrel at Central City and the 
German made his trips to his gold mine alrfne after 
that, always returning in the fall with a goodly 
quantity of gold dust. Efforts were made to get 
him to tell where his mine was, but he always put 
off his questioners in one way and another and never 
would give the desired information. At last a party 
of men set out to find what was then called the 
"Dutchman's" mine, but after prospecting for sev- 
eral days without results gave up the search. In the 
spring of 1864, when the old German passed 
through Laporte on his way to the mountains, two 
men followed him thinking he would lead them di- 
rectly to the place where he claimed to have found 
so much gold, but he discovered their purpose and 
threw them off the track by going up the Cache la 
Poudre and crossing over into what is now Grand 



county through Lulu pass. He was never after- 
wards seen in these parts. The story goes that he 
was lynched in Central City for killing a man. At 
any rate the "Dutchman's" mine was never found, 
and the supposition is that the German and his part- 
ner were the ones who held up and robbed the stage 
coach of its treasure box and afterward obtained 
their supply of gold dust from the place where they 
had hidden it in the mountains near Virginia Dale. 
The keeping of a record of the proceedings of the 
board of county commissioners began October 8th, 
1864, when Abner Loomis, John Heath and Will- 
iam A. Bean, commissioners for the county, ap- 
pointed by Governor John Evans, met at Laporte 
and organized by electing Abner Loomis chairman. 
According to the record, all the board did after or- 
ganizing was to approve the official bonds of the 
several county officers appointed by the governor at 
the same time the commissioners were appointed. 
There was, in fact but little else to be done at that 
time. There were no public roads, no bridges, ex- 
cept private or toll bridges, and no school districts 
in the county. No term of the district court 
had then been held consequently there were no 
jurors nor witnesses to be paid, and the newly ap- 
pointed county officers had as yet performed no serv- 
ice for which they were entitled to pay. As a matter 
of fact, the commissioners had no public money to 
expend for any purpose, as the first assessment of 
property in the county for taxation was made that 
year. The records fail to show who was assessed, 
what species of property was listed and the total 
amount of the roll, but the footings of the roll could 
not have amounted to many thousands of dollars, as 
only personal property such as cattle, horses, wagons 
and improvements on public land were subject to 
taxation. The land could not be taxed as the title 
still remained in the government and as the country 
was new and most of the settlers were poor, there 
was not much property to assess. The public land 
had just been surveyed by the government and of 
course no land patents had been issued to any of the 
settlers. Previous to the time when the public sur- 
veys were completed the settlers only possessed a 
squatter's right to their lands, but after the surveys 
were made and section and township lines were es- 
tablished, they began to make preemption and home- 
stead filings in which these lands were definitely de- 
scribed. These lands could not be taxed, however, 
until after the government had issued patents on 
them, and it does not appear from the county records 
that any of the public lands in Larimer county were 
patented until several years afterward, consequently 

[55] . 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



only the improvements made on them by settlers 
were taxed. 

The first land patent recorded in Larimer county 
was issued May 1st, 1867, to Antoine Janis, as- 
signee of Marcus Minorca, a New Mexican volun- 
teer in the Navajo trouble to whom had been issued 
land warrant No. 103,153, for 160 acres of land. 
Janis located the warrant on the E. ^ of the S. E. ^ 
of section 30, and W. ^ of the S. W. ^ of section 
29, township No. 8, north of range No. 69, west of 
the 6th principal meridian, the same land he had 
claimed under a squatter's right in 1844 — twenty- 
three years before. The patent was signed by An- 
drew Johnson, President of the United States, and 
recorded on August 30th, 1867, in book "B" of the 
Larimer county records, by John C. Matthews as 
deputy for Edward C. Smith, county clerk. 

Before the county was thoroughly organized for 
judicial purposes in 1864, A. F. Howes, who had 
been appointed county clerk by Governor Gilpin 
soon after Larimer county had been created by the 
Territorial legislature, opened "Book 'A' of deeds 
of Larimer county, Colorado Territory." In this 
book were recorded squatter's claims to land, bills 
of sale, chattel mortgages; and later on land office 
receiver's duplicate receipts; quit-claim deeds, con- 
tracts, etc. The first instrument in writing re- 
corded in this book purports to be Hal Sayr's squat- 
ter's claim to 160 acres of land, which was filed for 
record January 31st, 1862, by A. F. Howes, county 
clerk and recorder. Four days afterwards, on Feb- 
ruary 4th, 1862, E. W. Raymond's squatter's claim 
was filed for record from which it appears that the 
county clerk was not rushed with work in those 
days. Every one of the instruments recorded in 
1862 were acknowledged before J. C. Peabody, who 
seems to have been the only justice of the peace in 
the county. Hal Sayr acted as deputy clerk in 1862, 
and J. C. Peabody served as deputy in 1863, under 
A. F. Howes. The last instrument recorded in 
book "A" is a quit-claim deed from J. M. Sher- 
wood to Ben Holladay, sub-contractor of the Over- 
land stage company. It conveys to the grantee the 
rights of the grantor to certain lands situated near 
the mouth of Boxelder creek, the consideration 
named being $500. This deed was recorded Octo- 
ber 24th, 1863, by L. Wright, deputy, in the ab- 
sence of J. C. Peabody, the regularly appointed 
deputy clerk. Book "B" of the record of deeds was 
opened April 10th, 1865, by H. W. Chamberlin, 
county clerk and recorder. Between October 24th, 
1863, the date of the recording of the last instru- 
ment in book "A", and April 10th, 1865, the date 



of the opening of book "B", the records fail to show 
that any instruments were recorded by the county 
clerk. There is a hiatus there of one year, five 
months and sixteen days, when business in the 
county clerk's office appears to have been at a stand- 
still. The first instrument recorded in book "B", 
April 10th, 1865, was a United States receiver's 
duplicate receipt No. 197, issued to A. F. Howes, 
February 7th, 1865, upon the payment of $200, 
being in full for the N. i of the N. E. i, and N. E. 
i of the N. W. i of section 18, and S. E. i of the 




FIRST CHIMNEY BUILT IN LARIMER COUNTY: 
HOME OF EBENEZER DAVIS 

S. W. i of section 7, all in township No. 7 north of 
range No. 68 W. embracing l60 acres at the rate of 
$1.25 per acre. The duplicate was issued at the 
Denver land office by C. B. Clement, receiver. 
From the records this appears to have been the first 
entry- of public land in Larimer county and the first 
duplicate receipt issued to a Larimer county pre- 
emptor. Mr. Howes, who was afterwards county 
judge of Larimer county and later represented the 
county in the state senate for four years, filed a 
squatter's claim on the land described in 1862 and 
preempted the same soon after the Government sur- 
vey had been made in 1864. He proved up on his 
preemption in February, 1865, and completed the 
the entry under the United States land laws. This 
formed a part of Judge Howes' 800-acre ranch 
which he owned and controlled for 35 years, when 
it passed into other hands and is now owned by 
the Water Supply and Storage Company. 

No one living here at the present time seems to be 
able to account for the hiatus of nearly eighteen 
months in the public records of the county. It was 
not because the settlers had forsaken their homes 



[56] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER- COUNTY, COLORADO 



and claims and gone elsewhere, nor because they 
neither bought nor sold land claims or other prop- 
erty during the interim, for the same names appear 
in record book "B" as grantors and grantees that 
appeared in record book "A", with here and there 
a new name, showing that instead of having moved 
away accessions had been made to the number of 
settlers here in 1863. It is possible that Judge 
Howes, who opened record book "A" January 31st, 
1862, before the county had been organized for judi- 
cial purposes, found that his acts as county clerk and 
recorder had no legal standing and were therefore 
invalid, hence closed up his office and discontinued 
the keeping of the records. Whatever the cause, 
the fact remains that there is not the scratch of a pen 
in the public records from October 24th, 1863, to 
April 10th, 1865, to show that a single transfer of 
property had been made by anybody within the 
boundaries of Larimer county. This lapse in the 
records does not, however, efEect titles to land, for 
in those days no one had any better title than a 
squatter's right to preempt or homestead when it 
came into market. The government surveys were 
made in the latter part of 1863 and in 1864, and it 
was not until then that settlers could get even a 
shadow of a tittle to the land they had squatted 
upon. After that, preemption and homestead filings 
were made and these subsequently proved up on 
when the title passed from the government to the 
settler. The number of Judge Howes' duplicate 
receipt, 197, shows that up to that time, February 
7th, 1865, but few settlers in Colorado had acquired 
title to their land. That was because the govern- 
ment surveys had not heen made and therefore no 
title to land could be given until the country had 
been surveyed, platted and opened for . permanent 
settlement. When this was done, thousands of pre- 
emption and homestead filings were made and the 
records of Larimer county from that time on are 
filled with recorded evidences of title to real estate. 
The first settlers of the county located on the bottom 
lands adjacent to the streams and not until these 
were all taken up and occupied, was any attempt 
made to secure claim or title to what are known as 
bench or bluff lands. Native grasses grew luxur- 
iantly on the bottom lands and, when cured, made 
excellent hay, and as hay, in the early days, brought 
a good price at Denver and in the mining camps, the 
first settlers devoted almost their entire efforts and 
energies to the production of hay. A few of them 
planted gardens in the low lands and raised potatoes 
and other vegetables for market with marked suc- 
cess. But little grain of any kind was grown in 



the county until about 1864, when a few of the 
ranchmen ventured to sow wheat and oats and to 
plant corn. The result of these few experiments 
were so much better than expected that a much lar- 
ger area was planted to small grains in 1865, so that 
the birth of diversified agriculture in Larimer 
county can be dated from about that period of time. 

After the settlers began to get titles to their lands 
the county took on a better and more favorable ap- 
pearance. Improvements were made, more comfort- 
able and more convenient houses were built to take 
the place of sod-covered and dirt-floored log cabins, 
the farms were fenced, trees planted and the general 
air of the Great American desert began to take on a 
more civilized and homelike aspect. About this time 
it was demonstrated that the uplands produced the 
best wheat, oats and other small grains and largest 
yields per acre and new comers began to locate on 
and improve them. Companies were incorporated 
to build irrigating ditches through which to carry 
water from the streams to irrigate the lands, which 
previous to this time, were thought to be worthless 
except for pasture. The surplus grain produced in 
1865-6 and 7 was hauled in wagons to Denver and 
marketed at good prices, and all the ranchmen were 
making money and doing well. New farms were 
opened up and the grain crops became so important 
that in 1867 a grist mill was built in the Big 
Thompson valley and a year later another one was 
erected at Fort Collins. These mills were equipped 
with old fashioned millstones and bolts, but they 
served a good purpose for several years and afforded 
the farmers of the two valleys a home market for 
their surplus grain products, thus saving the long 
and tiresome haul to Denver. 

Late in 1863, Co. B of the First Colorado volun- 
teer cavalry was transferred from Laporte to another 
field of activity and a detachment of the Eleventh 
Kansas volunteer cavalry was sent west to guard 
the Overland stage line, taking the place of the 
Colorado troops. The following spring Lieut. Col. 
W. O. Collins, commanding the Eleventh Ohio 
regiment of volunteer cavalry, stationed at Fort 
Laramie, Wyoming, sent companies F and B of his 
regiment to Laporte to take the place of the Kansas 
troops which had been ordered into active service in 
the field. The Ohio troops arrived here in May and 
established a post a short distance southwest of the 
point of rgcks west of Laporte, which they named 
Camp Collins in honor of Col. Collins, commander 
of the regiment. These two companies of mounted 
troops, commanded by Capt. W. H. Evans, remained 
at Camp Collins doing patrol and guard duty until 

[57] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



October, 1864, when the camp was moved to the site 
of the present city of Fort Collins, the reason of the 
change being that the old camp at Laporte was 
flooded during the high water of June that year 
and much of the camp equipment, including tents, 
ammunition, blankets and clothing was washed away 
and lost at a cost of several thousand dollars. The 
new Camp Collins formed the nucleus around which 
the present city of Fort Collins and county seat of 
Larimer county, has since been built up, and as the 
history of the camp and the founding of that city 
are intimately connected, further and more ex- 
tended reference to the soldiers and their duty and 
experiences here, will be made under the separate 
head of "Fort Collins'' in this volume. 

Early Records of County Com- 
missioners 

Though set off and created by an act of the Ter- 
ritorial legislature, approved in September, 1861, as 
already stated, Larimer county remained unorgan- 
ized until 1864, for reasons elsewhere given, con- 
sequently little or nothing was done in the way of 
making public improvements. The county remained 
in an inchoate state. The elements were present, the 
people were here, though few in number, compara- 
tively speaking, the boundaries had been defined and 
the legislature had conferred upon the inhabitants 
the power to organize and the governor had ap- 
pointed a full set of county officers so that, appar- 
ently, nothing stood in the way of the establishment 
of a county government. But the people were not 
yet ready to assume the responsibility. They were 
satisfied with conditions as they existed. The board 
of .county commissioners appointed by Governor 
Gilpin in January, 1862, failed to organize and 
there is nothing on record to show that the other 
county officers appointed at the same time qualified 
by filing bonds and oaths of office. Later in the 
season Governor Gilpin appointed a new set of 
county officers, including Joseph Mason, James 

B. Arthur and William B. Osborn as a board 
of commissioners. This board organized by 
electing Mr. Osborn chairman, and proceeded 
to lay out the commissioner districts of the 
county practically as they still exist. Capt. 

C. C. Hawley informed the author that after 
the failure of the first board of commissioners. Gov. 
Gilpin appealed to him to furnish the names of three 
qualified men for commissioners who would organ- 
ize and act as such. Capt. Hawley recommended 
Messrs Mason, Arthur and Osborn and they were 

[58] 



appointed. A. F. Howes was at the same time ap- 
pointed clerk and recorder and he entered upon his 
official duties January 31, 1862. It does not ap- 
pear that the board of commissioners transacted any 
public business during their term beyond that of lay- 
ing out the commissioner districts. 

In September, 1864, Governor Evans appointed 
the following county officers: County Commision- 




SAWTOOTH MOUNTAIN, FROM MICHIGAN 
DITCH CAMP 

ers, Abner Loomis, John Heath and William A. 
Bean; County Judge, John E. Washburn, Sheriff, 
Henry Arrison; Treasurer, B. T. Whedbee; Asses- 
sor, J. M. Smith; County Clerk, H. W. Chamber- 
lin; Superintendent of Schools, H. B. Chubbuck. At 
this time there was but one public highway in the 
county and that was the Territorial road leading 
north from Denver to Fort Laramie. This road 
followed the Old Cherokee trail which closely 
hugged the hogbacks. Bridges had been built over 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



the Big Thompson at Namaqua and over the Cache 
la Poudre at Laporte, but they were toll bridges 
owned by private parties or incorporated companies. 
These bridges were used mainly during flood periods 
when the water was too high for safe fording. 

Record book No. 1 of the board of county com- 
missioners opens with a brief report of the first meet- 
ing of the new board, which was held October 8th, 
1864 at Laporte. The minutes of that meeting 
state that "the board convened at 4 o'clock p. m. 
Abner Loomis and John Heath being present and 
W. A. Bean absent. Abner Loomis was chosen 
chairman. The board proceeded to examine the 
bonds of the following county officers: H. W. 
Chamberlin, clerk and recorder; B. T. Whedbee, 
treasurer; J. E. Washburn, probate judge; H. B. 
Chubbuck, school superintendent; James M. Smith, 
assessor." 

After approving the official bonds of these officers 
the board adjourned without transacting any other 
public business. No other meeting appears to have 
been held until February 17, 1865, when the 
board levied a tax of $1,000 "for the purpose of 
raising recruits for the 90-day service," in response 
to the call of Governor Evans, dated February 6th, 
1865; also a tax of $250 for the purpose of pur- 
chasing books, blanks, and stationery for the use of 
the county. Abner Loomis and John Heath were 
present at this meeting, Mr. Loomis presiding. 

On the 23rd of the following April the board 
met again and appropriated $150 to pay for a log 
house purchased of Henry Arrison, situated in La- 
porte; said building to be used for county purposes. 
Among the bills allowed and ordered paid at the 
next meeting held July 15, 1865, were the follow- 
ing: 

$250 to Wm. B. Osborn for a horse pressed into 
the military service by order of Col. Moonlight, 
commander of the district; also $50 to Abner 
Loomis for one horse ; B. T. Whedbee $50 for one 
horse; Wm. Adolph $50 for one horse; Joseph Ma- 
son $50 for one horse; Mariana Modena $150 
for three horses. These horses had all been 
pressed into the military service. At this meet- 
ing there were present William A. Bean, Ab- 
ner Loomis, and John Heath. On July 26th, 
the board met again and allowed bills amount- 
ing to $250, each to Johnathan E. Wilde, and 
J. M. Sherwood for horses pressed into the military 
service by order of Col. Moonlight; $50 each to 
Mariana Modena, James M. Smith, James M. 
Eaglin, Frank Card, Joseph Markley, John J. Ryan, 
Daniel Walker, Jerry Kuhns, Sebastian Foster, 



Thomas H. Johnson, John Hahn, Wm. B. Osborn, 
H. Hillbury, Luber Hillbury, Wesley Hillbury 
and H. Sharp, and $25 each to Nelson Hollowell, 
Thomas Cross, John D. Bartholf, John E. Wash- 
burn, John Keirnes and G. L. Luce to reimburse 
them for bounty money paid to recruits for the 90 
day service. At this meeting the board fixed the 
annual tax levy at 7 mills on the dollar for county 
purposes; 13 mills special tax to pay bounties to 
recruits ; also a poll tax of $2 and a military poll of 
50 cents. 

The next meeting of the board occurred January 
8, 1866, with Abner Lommis, James B. Arthur and 
Wm. A. Bean as members, Mr. Arthur having 
been elected to succeed John Heath at the election 
held in September, 1865, the first general election 
held in the county. Bills for per diem of judges 
and clerks of the election for canvassing of the re- 
turns were allowed and ordered paid. The names 
of those receiving county warrants for this service 
follow: James M. Smith, John E. Washburn, 
Thomas Cross, S. W. Smith, Harris Stratton, H. C. 
Peterson, Dominie Bray, H. B. Chubbuck, John 
Heath, J. B. Ames, G. R. Strauss, Wm. Rasmus, 
Henry Arrison, C. C. Smith, J. A. C. Hickman, 
Daniel Johnson, Ed. C. Smith, J. M. Smith Jr., 
William Cosslett, John R. Thacker, Antoine Le- 
beau, R. J. Brown, G. A. Goodrich, Thomas Gill, 
John M. Tout, Peter Cazzoe and E. G. Howard. 

J. E. Washburn and Wm. B. Osborn and others 
presented a petition for the laying out and estab- 
lishing of public highways in the Big Thompson 
valley. These were the first petitions to come be- 
fore the board asking for public highways. 

Samuel E. Brown of Denver, was employed by 
the board to collect from the United States the 
money expended by the county in raising 90-day 
men for military service in 1864, for which he was 
to be paid 33 1-3 per cent of the amount collected. 
If he failed in his endeavor he was to receive no 
compensation. 

At the next meeting held February 6th, 1866, 
the first road petition acted upon was granted and a 
highway described as follows laid out and estab- 
lished : "Commencing at a point on the southern 
boundary line of the military reservation of Fort 
Collins, running parallel with the township line be- 
tween ranges 68 and 69 west and three-fourths of a 
mile west from said township line and running due 
south to the southern line of the county of Larimer, 
in conformity with the petition of John E. Wash- 
burn and 29 others." This road was afterwards 
vacated and laid upon the section line and is now 

[59] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



known as the College Avenue road. It was the 
first public road laid out and established in Larimer 
county. 

The records do not show that another meeting of 
the board was held until January 12th, 1867, a per- 
iod of more than a year having elapsed since the pre- 
vious meeting, though the blank pages from 
page 10 to page 24, inclusive, in the record 
book, indicate that meetings were held dur- 
ing the interim and, for some reason, no 
record made of them. This session was main- 
ly devoted to acting upon road petitions, re- 
bating taxes and auditing bills. The members pres- 
ent were Abner Loomis, J. B. Arthur and W. A. 
Bean. On January 23rd, another meeting was held 
with Commissioners Loomis and Arthur present. 
At this meeting W. DeW. Taft, late deputy 
county clerk, on behalf of H. W. Chamberlin, late 
county clerk, turned over to Edward C. Smith, his 
successor in office, certain books, records, and papers 
pertaining to and belonging to the office of county 
clerk." The session was occupied mainly in audit- 
ing bills. The sum of $200 was appropriated for 
the purchase of a bridge over the Big Thompson at 
Washburn crossing. 

On the 11th of February the board granted per- 
mission to W. H. Oviatt, agent, Brice Viers, A. H. 
Reed, agent, and Alexander Stewart to graze cattle 
in Larimer county. The record does not give the 
residences of the grantees, but they were presumably 
citizens of Wyoming. Harris Stratton was ap- 
pointed a justice of the peace in and for Larimer 
county. On the 3rd of June, 1867, the salary of J. 
M. Sherwood, probate judge, was fixed at $150 for 
the first year of his term of office, and Fred Wallace 
was appointed a justice of peace. Judges of elec- 
tion were also appointed at this session as follows: 

Precinct No. 1, John H. Mandeville, Charles 
Howard, John R. Brown. 

Precinct No. 2, John Davis, John Stotts, Eben- 
ezer Davis. 

Precinct No. 3, George L. Luce, John J. Ryan, 
Charles M. Brough. 

Precinct No. 4, N. P. Cooper, Joshua Ames, 
John G. Coy. 

In 1867, the Colorado Central & Pacific Rail- 
road company, which had been chartered by the 
Territorial legislature to build a railroad from 
Georgetown, via Boulder, St. Vrain and thence 
through Larimer county in a northeasterly direction 
to a junction with the Union Pacific railroad then 
being built westward from Omaha, asked the county 
to subscribe to the capital stock of the company in 

[60] 



the sum of $25,000, and to pay for the same in the 
corporate bonds of the county. The company agreed 
to locate its line of road not more than one mile east 
of the mouth of Boxelder Creek. In furtherance of 
the proposition the board of commissioners, at a 
meeting held August 10th, at Laporte, adopted a 
resolution providing for submitting to a vote of the 
people the question of issuing the bonds of the 
county for that purpose. The election was called 
for August 13th, and it was held on that day, but 
the records fail to show whether or not the bonds 
were voted. The fact remains, however, that they 
were never issued and the road was never built. 
It was not until ten years later that a railroad was 
built into and through the county, that road being 
the Colorado Central, as it was then and for several 
years afterwards called, but now known as the Colo- 
rado & Southern. It passed by the sites of the pres- 
ent towns of Berthoud and the present city of Love- 
land and was completed and put into operation in 
October 1877. A depot and telegraph station were 
opened in Fort Collins on the 7th day of October. 
The towns of Loveland and Berthoud had their ori- 
gin soon after the road was completed. The Greeley 
Salt Lake and Pacific railroad from Greeley west- 
ward through Fort Collins was built in 1882, and a 
few months later the two roads fell into the possess- 
ion of the Union Pacific Railroad company which, 
in 1884, took up the rails on the Colorado Central 
from Fort Collins to Cheyenne, thus cutting Lari- 
mer county off from direct communication with 
Wyoming. 

The tax levy for 1867 was fixed at 1 mill for 
school purposes, 3 mills for territorial purposes, and 
8 mills for county purposes. Licenses to sell liquors 
were issued October 7th, to Peter Decora, Cornelius 
Maxwell and Provost & Claymore, at $100 each 
per annum. The rates of toll to be charged on the 
Laporte, Virginia Dale and Boundary Line wagon 
road were fixed at 25 cents for team and wagon, 2 
cents per head for loose stock, 15 cents for carriages 
and teams, and 1 cent per head for sheep and hogs. 
At a special session of the board held March 12th, 
1868, it was ordered that a county jail, 14 feet 
square, 8 feet high, be built of hewn logs. This 
jail was built at Laporte by B. T. Whedbee and 
Charles W. Ramer hauled the logs for it from the 
mountains with an ox-team. The tax levy for that 
year was fixed at 20 mills for county purposes; 5 
mills, for territorial purposes and 5 mills for school 
purposes, at a session of the board held July 6th. At 
this meeting a petition signed by 99 of the legal 
voters of the county, was presented asking the board 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



to call an election for the purpose of voting on a per- 
manent location of the county seat. The prayer of 
the petitioners was granted and the county clerk 
directed to post notices of such election in each of the 
voting precincts. This election was held on the 8th 
day of September, 1868. Old St. Louis, situated on 
the Big Thompson one mile east of the present city 
of Loveland, Laporte and Camp Collins, each as- 
pired to the honor of being known as the county 
seat, but the election resulted in favor of Camp 
Collins. On August 5th, the board set off and 
created the following elections: precincts No. 1, La- 
porte; No. 2, Camp Collins; No. 3, Sherwood; No. 
4, Big Thompson ; No. 5, Livermore. 

On the 5th of October Mason & Co. were noti- 
fied to immediately move the county jail, safe, books, 
records and papers belonging to Larimer county 
from Laporte to Camp Collins. This was done 
and the next meeting of the board was held Novem- 
ber 17th, 1868, at Camp Collins. Abner Loomis 
and James B. Arthur were the only members pres- 
ent. From this on for several years the sessions of 
the board were held in the Old Grout building 
erected for a sutler's store in 1865 on the site of F. 
P. Stover's drug store, which had been fitted up 
with bookcases, desks, tables, chairs and a stove for 
the use of the board. The room on the second floor 
of the building, occupied by the board of commis- 
sioners, was also used as a court room, for church 
and Sunday school purposes, theaters and balls. One 
of the bills allowed at this session was for $10 to C. 
Boulware for making a cofKn for a man killed by the 
Indians, but who the man was and where he was 
killed are not divulged by the records. 

Beginning with July 5th, 1869, the records of the 
board of commissioners were dated at Fort Collins, 
instead of Camp Collins, showing that the people had 
become ambitious and discarded the common every 
day term "Camp" for the more aristocratic title 
"Fort". From that time to the present the town 
has been known as Fort Collins, though, until Fort 
Logan was established near Denver a few years 
ago, there was no fort nearer than Fort Laramie, 
130 miles away. 

It is -apparent from the records that in 1870, 
stage robbers had begun to commit depredations on 
the Denver and Cheyenne stage line, owned by 
Mason & Co., for on the 4th of January that year 
the board offered a reward of $250 for the capture 
and delivery of the robbers to the Larimer county 
authorities. No one ever called for the reward, so 
it is safe to say that the robbers were not caught. 



At the meeting held November 7th, 1870, 
Lorenzo Snyder appeared as a member in place of 
William A. Bean, whose term of office had expired. 
The new board was composed of James B. Arthur, 
Abner Loomis and Lorenzo Snyder, with Mr. 
Arthur as chairman. H. W. Chamberlin, clerk; C. 
C. Hawley, assessor, and A. K. Yount, probate 
judge. 

On the petition of A. R. Chaffee and 29 others, 
the board, on December 26th, 1870, laid out and 
established the Rist canon road from the southeast 
corner of John B. Provost's claim to the divide be- 
tween the head of Rist canon and the Redstone 
creek; this is the road that leads over Bingham hill. 
At this session of the board the grand jury sub- 
mitted, the following report on the county jail: 

"The grand jury now in session beg leave to 
report to the county commissioners that the pres- 
ent jail is insecure and not worth repairing, and 
that they put it to a vote of the people if we build 
a new one, at the next general election. Signed, 
J. W. Smith, A. L. Fell, J. P. Warren, Thomas 
Cross, P. J. Bosworth, committee." Beyond ac- 
cepting the report, the board took no action, and the 
old log jail was continued in use. 

The session of January 2nd, 1871, was given 
over to the hearing of road petitions, and quite a 
number were acted upon. The country was set- 
tling up and ranchmen were fencing their premi- 
ses, making it necessary that public roads be laid 
out and established for the convenience of the peo- 
ple. They could no longer drive where they 
pleased over the open prairie as they had done in 
years that had passed, so that for several years be- 
ginning with this period, much of the work of the 
county commissioners consisted in hearing and act- 
ing upon road petitions and in laying out and estab- 
lishing public highways. At the session held April 
3rd, 1871, the board purchased the W. J. & O. M. 
Carwile toll bridge over the Little Thompson 
creek for $75, and the Mariana toll bridge over 
the Big Thompson river for $200, making them 
public bridges. The Buckhorn election precinct 
was also set off at this session, and John C. Ish, 
James R. Oliver and Lucas Brandt were appointed 
judges of election. The tax levy for the year was 
fixed at 7^ mills for county purposes, and 4i mills 
for school purposes. The resignation of A. K. Yount 
as probate judge, was accepted, and Alfred F. 
Howes was appointed to fill the vacancy. 

In September of that year F. W. Sherwood was 
elected a member of the board to succeed James B. 



[61] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNT Y 



COLORADO 



Arthur. Mr. Sherwood met with the board for the 
first time on October 6th. On February 3rd, 1872, 
in compliance with the petition of citizens, liquor 
licenses were increased from $100 to $300 per 
annum, and on March 4th, C. C. Hawley was ap- 
pointed corresponding clerk of the Colorado Im- 
migration society. 

At the session held November 4th, the board or- 
dered a special election to be held December 9th, 

1872, to vote on the proposition of issuing the bonds 
of the county to the am.ount of $100,000 to aid in 
the construction of the Cache la Poudre & Pacific 
railroad. The judges appointed to conduct said 
election were: 

Precinct No. 1, Laporte — James H. Swan, W. F. 
Watrous, Thomas Gill. 

Precinct No. 2, Fort Collins— B. T. Whedbee, J. 
H. Bradstreet, George Sykes. 

Precinct No. 3, Sherwood — J. B. Arthur, 
Thomas Earnest, John Hilton. 

Precinct No. 4, Big Thompson — George Litle, 
James S. Carwile, Thomas Cross. 

Precinct No. 5, Livermore — William Calloway, 
Russell Fisk, John Fitz. 

Precinct No. 6, Buckhorn — Ed. Clark, Frank 
Tower, H. Clayton. 

The order calling the election was revoked No- 
vember 25th, at the request of the railroad com- 
pany, and therefore no election was held. 

At the session of the board held February 3rd, 

1873, a petition was presented by the taxpayers of 
Fort Collins, asking that said town be incorporated. 
The commissioners being satisfied that two-thirds 
of the tax payers in said town had signed the peti- 
tion, ordered that the town of Fort Collins be in- 
corporated and appointed B. T. Whedbee, G. G. 
Blake, H. C. Peterson, W. C. Stover and W. S. 
Vescelius trustees of said town to serve until their 
successors were elected. L. R. Rhodes was ap- 
pointed county attorney at this meeting, and the sum 
of $1200 was appropriated for the purpose of build- 
ing a bridge over the Cache la Poudre river at the 
foot of College avenue, provided the trustees of the 
town of Fort Collins built a good practicable road 
to and from said bridge. 

Election precincts. No. 7 (Virginia Dale) and 
No. 8, (Little Thompson) were set off and estab- 
lished, July 20th, 1874. 

At the election held in September, 1874, the fol- 
lowing county officers were elected : Jack Dow, 

[62] 



county surveyor ; Fred Wallace, assessor ; J. E. Rem- 
ington, probate judge; A. H. Patterson, county 
clerk; Joseph Mason, sheriff; John G. Coy, county 
commissioner ; R. W. Bosworth, county superintend- 
ent. The county treasurer elect failing to qualify, 
Wm. B. Osborn was appointed treasurer, Novem- 
23th to fill the vacancy. On December 7th, 1874, 
thirteen road districts were formed and overseers 
were appointed as follows: No. 1, G. W. Collier; 
No. 2, W. A. Bean; No. 3, J. J. Ryan; No. 4, Gil- 
bert Tower; No. 5, George W. Richart; No. 6, 
Lewis Kern; No. 7, Norman Piatt; No. 8, W. S. 
Vescelius; No. 9, D. T. Jackson; No. 10, Jacob 
Flowers; No. 11, M. L. Sawin; No. 12, Edward 
Davies; No. 13, A. J. Shotwell. 

R. W. Cloud was awarded the contract on March 
1st, 1875, for building the bridge over the Cache la 
Poudre river, to cost $864. 

On Tuesday, May 4th, 1875, the board adopted 
a resolution requiring all persons floating timber 
down the Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson 
rivers to give bonds to secure ditch owners from 
damage to their dams and headgates during the 
timber driving season. Timber drivers on the Cache 
la Poudre were required to give bonds in the sum of 
$15,000 and those on the Big Thompson in the sum 
of $5,000. In those days thousands of saw logs, rail- 
road ties, and mine props were cut in the mountains 
during the winter and floated down during high 
water to the railroad at Greeley, where the logs 
were sawed into lumber and the ties and mine 
props shipped to points where they were needed. 
At times the streams would be choked with floating 
timber which frequently tore out dams and carried 
away headgates of irrigating ditches to the great 
damage of owners. 

Estes Park was set off and organized as an elec- 
tion precinct in September 1875, and the board ap- 
propriated $300 for use in opening a county road 
from Bald Mountain to the Park. On November 
1st, a contract was let to John W. Boyd to build a 
vault for use in protecting county records, books, 
and papers from danger of destruction by fire. For 
this work the contractor was to be paid the sum of 
$350. At this session the proposition of Charles 
Emerson, J. B. Flower, John C. Abbott, J. H. 
Boughton, James Conroy and Coon & Scranton to 
donate to the county the sum of $800 to be expended 
in erecting a building suitable for use of the county 
officers, was accepted. This action of the board re- 
sulted in bringing on a fight between the old town 
and the new town, which raged with much bitter- 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



ness for nearly twenty years. The old town as 
laid out in 1866, was extended from the river south 
to Mountain avenue and west from where the old 
foundry stood on Riverside avenue to College ave- 
nue, the streets running southeast and northwest, 
practically parallel with the river. In 1872 the 
colony came and laid out and platted a new town 
abutting on the south and west boundaries of the old 
town. At this time all the stores, shops, hotels and 
other business places, including the postoflSce and tel- 
egraph station were located in the old town, whose 
inhabitants watched with a jealous eye the improve- 
ments that were being made, the business houses es- 
tablished and homes erected in the new town. The 
colony had donated to the county block 101, where 
the court house now stands, as a site for the court 
house and it was on this ground that the proposed 
county offices were to be built. With the idea of 
heading oil and preventing the erection of the pro- 
posed offices in court square, by which the new town 
would receive a more direct benefit than the old 
town, W. C. Stover and A. K. Yount represent- 
ing the interests of the old town, submitted a coun- 
ter proposition as follows. "That they would build 
offices and vaults and give the county the use of 
them rent free for an indefinite period of time, or so 
long as the county saw fit to occupy them. The 
board rejected the proposition and on November 
3rd, let a contract to Eph Love and Jonas Boorse to 
erect a small building on block 101, for county 
offices. The building was one story high, about 16 
by 30 in size, and contained two rooms, one for the 
county clerk and the other for the county treasurer, 
for which they were to receive $490. This build- 
ing was used until thirteen years later when the 
new court house was completed and ready to 
occupy, then sold and moved to a lot on S. Sher- 
wood street where it was fitted up as a dwelling 
and is still used as such. 

On February 1st, 1876, Joseph Mason resigned 
the office of sheriff and Eph Love was appointed to 
fill the vacancy, and on April 2nd, A. H. Patterson 
tendered his resignation as county clerk and re- 
corder, which was accepted. Charles P. Scott of 
Big Thompson was appointed to fill the vacancy 
thus created. 

Previous to the adoption of the state constitution 
and the admission of Colorado into the Union as a 
sovereign state, all county officers assumed the duties 
of their respective positions immediately after the 
result of the elections held in September had been 
declared, but since then, acting under a state law. 



they have taken their offices in the month of Janu- 
ary next following their election. On December 
1st, 1877, Marcus Coon resigned the office of 
sheriff, to which he had been elected in October, 
1876, and James Sweeney was appointed to succeed 
him until the election of 1878. At this election 
Mr. Sweeney was chosen by the people to succeed 
himself and was thereafter reelected three times in 
succession. 

Up to February 1878, the board of county com- 
missioners had been accustomed to granting licenses 
to saloon keepers outside the limits of incorporated 
towns to sell liquors. At first the license fee was 
fixed at $100 per annum, but later increased to 
$300, the object of the commissioners in in- 
creasing the fee being to reduce the number of 
saloons and doggeries in the county. This failing 
to have the desired effect, the commissioners, on 
the 4th of February, 1878, passed and adopted the 
following resolution: 

"Be it resolved, that no further licenses will be 
granted by the board of commissioners for the sale 
of spirituous, vinous, fermented and intoxicating 
liquors after this date." 

This resolution went into effect at once and from 
that time down to the present, the commissioners 
have steadily and consistently refused to grant or 
issue liquor licenses in Larimer county. The mem- 
bers of the board then were Noah Bristol, Lewis 
Cross and Revilo Loveland. 

This brings the commissioners' records relating to 
the most important matters dealt with by them 
during what might be called the pioneer or forma- 
tive period of the county, down to the time Colo- 
rado became a state when a new and more system- 
atic manner of transacting public business was 
inaugurated. The board was composed of the same 
number of members who had been elected in the 
same manner as their predecessors, but they held 
regular meetings at intervals prescribed by law, per- 
forming their duties in a more methodical way and 
a better, more complete and more business-like 
record of their proceedings was kept than had been 
the rule with their predecessors during Territorial 
days. From 1878 down the records of the com- 
missioners' proceedings have been preserved in a 
neat and orderly manner and are full and complete 
in all essential particulars. This is also true of the 
other departments of the county government, so since 
that time a full, accurate and complete record of 
every transaction of a public nature has been pre- 
served in each of the county offices. Before that 

[63] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



time, however, the public records are indefinite and 
incomplete, making it impossible to prepare a con- 
nected and intelligible transcript of them. 

What Attracted People to Larimer 
County 

The climate of Colorado is of vital importance 
to the thousands of invalids throughout the world, 
as is evidenced by the great number who have come 
to the state and are now enjoying renewed health, 
prosperity and happiness. Many such people are to 
be found comfortably located in Larimer county. 
In the summer the days are seldom hot, and it is 
very unusual for the mercury to rise higher than 
90 degrees; even at this point there is less discom- 
fort than at a temperature of 80 degrees in the 
lower altitudes. It may be truly said that the dryer 
the atmosphere the less discomfort felt from heat or 
cold. The summer climate of Fort Collins, Love- 
land, Berthoud and other towns in the county east 
of the mountains, is equal to that of the Northern 
lakes and of Maine on the eastern coast. In tem- 
perature, the eastern part of the county may be 
compared with that of the Champaigne districts in 
France. The temperature belt corresponds with 
that of Scotland. The foot-hill section with that 
of Southern Sweden. In the mountain regions may 
be found all varieties of climate, from that of Nor- 
way to that of Southern Iceland. Citizens of Colo- 
rado, in a few hours travel by rail may enjoy the 
warmth of France or the cooler air of the approach 
to the Artie Circle. The dryness of the atmosphere 
is of great importance to the health and comfort of 
persons seeking a congenial climate. The pure 
life-giving air and the comfort of the average 
winters and summers, as compared with states far- 
ther east, are features heartily appreciated by those 
who have made Colorado their home. The medical 
profession is rapidly coming to the belief that health 
depends largely upon the proper assimilation of 
food. An excess of moisture in the atmosphere has 
a depressing efifect upon the nervous system, govern- 
ing nutrition, and it is largely because of the absence 
of moisture in the air of Colorado that digestion is 
promoted and health preserved. 

Sunshine is the life of everything. In Colorado 
the records of the weather bureau show that 320 
out of 365 days of the year are "sunny days". In 
Switzerland, 8,500 feet is the line of perpetual 
snow; in Colorado the timber line is 11,000 feet. 
Davos Platz (5,200 feet) in Switzerland is un- 
questionably the most desirable health resort in 
Europe. The leading climatologists of London, 

[64] 



Glasgow, Boston and New York say that Colorado 
climate is far superior to Davos Platz for pulmon- 
ary troubles. In the eastern part of Larimer 
county at elevations ranging from 4,800 to 5,200 
feet are large and very fruitful orchards, bearing 
apples, cherries and plums, while strawberries, 
raspberries, currants and gooseberries yield enor- 
mous crops and grow to their greatest perfection. 

Larimer county receives the first waters of sev- 
eral very important streams and from these streams 
irrigating canals have been constructed, immense 
reservoirs built and lateral ditches run in every 
direction until a large area of the plains portion of 
the county and many of the foothill parks are 
covered by a network of canals and ditches that 
furnish a never failing supply of water throughout 
the irrigating season. About 200,000 acres is the 
total covered by these canals in the county, but 
many of them extend into Weld county on the 
east where many thousands of acres additional are 
irrigated. The streams furnishing this supply are 
the Laramie, Grand, Cache la Poudre and Big 
Thompson rivers and the Little Thompson and 
Boxelder creeks. In addition to the supply fur- 
nished during the irrigating season from these 
streams, the different storage reservoirs already con- 
structed hold more than ten billion cubic feet of 
water, which is held in check during the spring 
and early summer, when the streams are running 
full, and drawn out into the canals later in the 
season when the waters of the rivers and creeks are 
low. These reservoirs are filled during the winter 
and from the surplus flood waters that flow down 
the streams in the spring, and they contain enough 
water to irrigate and mature the late crops, such 
as sugar beets, potatoes, etc. The eastern portion of 
the county is admirably adapted to irrigation farm- 
ing. The canals are built on a grade that carries 
them far out on the higher lands, and from these 
lateral ditches have in turn been constructed to 
carry the water on to the cultivated fields and 
meadows, so that nearly all the available land is 
easily and cheaply given the moisture needed to 
mature a crop. The streams that furnish the supply 
of water all have their source in the mountain snow 
fields, high up among the hills, and they bring down 
to the headgates of the various irrigating canals a lot 
of good mineral fertilizing material which, being 
spread over the land by the water used in irrigating, 
adds to the fertility of the soil and helps to keep it 
from becoming exhausted by a succession of crops. 

In addition to the irrigating systems already in 
operation there are several others in contemplation 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



and the construction of some of them is now in 
progress. The most important of these is what is 
known as the Laramie- Poudre project, which when 
completed will supply water to about 125,000 acres 
of land in the Northern parts of Larimer and Weld 
counties. Completed according to plans, this pro- 
ject will cost about five million dollars. A portion 
of its water supply will be taken from the Laramie 
river at a point high up in the mountains. As a 
means of diverting the water to the Cache la Poudre 
water shed, a tunnel two and one-fourth miles in 
length, is being driven through the divide that sep- 
arates the two streams, through which the water will 
flow into the Cache la Poudre river. It will be 
taken out at the company's headgate lower down 
the stream and thence carried out on to the land 
through irrigating canals and lateral ditches. Work 
on the tunnel is now in progress, more than half of 
it being completed. The Laramie- Poudre Reser- 
voirs & Irrigation company which has entered upon 
this stupendous project and is pushing it forward 
with surprising vigor, will supplement the supply 
derived from the Laramie river and its tributaries 
by an extensive system of reservoirs located on the 
Plains, several of which are already constructed 
and others in process of construction. These reser- 
voirs will catch and hold in check a portion of the 
spring flood waters of the various streams and also 
the surface flood waters which, during storms of 
rain, flow down the declivities in great volume. 

With the advantages of a genial climate, a fertile 
soil and abundance of water for irrigation, good 
markets for the products of the farm and range, in 
addition to the various attractions afforded by the 
grand old mountains with their snow-capped peaks, 
awe-inspiring canons, rushing streams, beautiful 
parks and forests of timber, it is not surprising that 
thousands of the best people on earth are found 
happily and prosperously located within the borders 
of Larimer county. And yet there is room for 



Society, Occupations and Pastimes 

Society in the early days was on an altogether 
diflterent basis from that of the present period. 
When the pioneers came to the Cache la Poudre and 
Big Thompson valleys, there was no law by which 
the actions of men were governed in their relation 
to others, but it is not so certain, says a writer, 
that the code of the wilderness would not bear 
favorable comparison with that of modern times. 
When it comes to the personal relations of individ- 



uals to each other, the account stands in favor of the 
wilderness. It has often been demonstrated in the 
history of the west that the existence of laws and the 
presence of lawyers to expound and of officers to en- 
force them, are not indispensable to a just and or- 
derly condition in thinly settled portions of a coun- 
try. It was the universal testimony of those familiar 
with the life of the frontiersman and with that of 
the pioneer, that crimes of all colors were never so 
few, and punishment for such as were committed 
so just, and swift and sure, as in these remote locali- 
ties where there were neither laws nor lawyers. 
Men trusted each other. Unless there were circum- 
stances to justify it the frontiersman was never 
known to invade the property, or rights of his 
neighbor, even though detection and discovery 
were impossible. A pioneer seldom locked his door 
when leaving home. He felt secure in the be- 
lief that unless in a case of extreme necessity, the 
contents of his home would not be disturbed. Each 
man was in a measure, a law unto himself, but 
here on the frontier more than in the older com- 
munities, far more, the precepts of the Golden Rule 
prevailed, and every man tried to treat his neigh- 
bor fairly. The pioneers, though assembled from 
widely differing communities in the east and reared 
under widely differing conditions had a true sense 
of justice and if they administered it oftentimes in 
a rough fashion, there was rarely any complaint that 
their judgments were wrong. "No court, or jury 
is called to adjudicate upon his disputes or abuses," 
says Gregg, "save his own conscience; and no 
powers are invoked to settle them save those with 
which the God of Nature has endowed him." It may 
be truly said that among the pioneers the personal 
relations of individuals to each other were as har- 
monious and just as they are under the most elab- 
orate social organizations. 

Trapping, hunting and fishing were the prin- 
cipal occupations of the little colony at Laporte in 
1858-9 — tilling of the soil not being thought of — 
and horse races, foot races and target shooting the 
principal amusements. Society was in a primitive 
state, but human nature is the same the world over 
and likes to be amused. It was so with the pioneer. 
While their social gatherings, dances and parties 
lacked in refinement in dress and manner of those 
of the present day, they enjoyed them to the utmost, 
and it is not for us of these latter days to sneer at 
and ridicule them. Our masquerades and carnivals 
are the same thing over again, with a little more 
finery, daintier refreshments and fancier liquors. 
Horse racing is as popular all over the country 

[65] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



in our day as it was with the first settlers, and Capt. 
John Smith's squaw wife was presented at the court 
of England with all the honors that accompany 
state presentations of today. Indeed, Pocahontas is 
the only American female honored by a place on 
American coins. It is surely no disgrace then, that 
many of the first settlers had Pocahontas wives. 
Indeed there was not a single white woman on the 
Poudre in 1858, and only one in 1859. 

One of the notable features in the social affairs 
of the Poudre was the weekly dog feast. This 
feature was introduced by the squaw wives of the 
settlers. A good, fat, healthy dog was slain each 
week, and the hair singed off over a fire made of dry 
grass. Then it was put into a kettle and boiled 
until tender. The meat somewhat resembled pork, 
and was considered a great delicacy. Some of the 
feasters, however, could never muster up courage 
enough to taste it, and as a result the dog feast soon 
became a relic of the past. In those days, the set- 
tlers had no calves, lambs or beeves to roast, no 
clams to bake, no oysters for church suppers, no 
terrapin, and they just had to boil dog or have no 
feast at all. It was no uncommon thing for them to 
be without flour for two or three weeks at a time. 
Then hoe-cakes were made of Government corn, 
brought all the way from Fort Laramie, and ground 
by female hands between common rocks. This is 
no fancy sketch, but the pure and unadulterated 
truth, as can be substantiated by the survivors of 
that early period. 

Overland Stage and Indian Troubles 

During the summer of 1862 the route of the 
Overland stage was changed from the North Platte 
to the South Platte. This change was made on ac- 
count of the many dangers from Indian raids on 
the coaches and stations and the difficulties exper- 
ienced in keeping the line open. The new road led 
by the way of Julesburg to Denver, thence along 
the base of the mountains to Laporte where it 
entered the mountains and thence via Virginia Dale, 
to the Laramie Plains and then due west, to a junc- 
tion with the old Overland trail. Speaking of this 
change Coutant's History of Wyoming says, "The 
transfer to the new line was so successfully accom- 
plished that not a mail was missed or a coach de- 
layed. The rolling stock, horses and other property 
of the stage company was transferred from the old to 
the new line with Company A of the Eleventh Ohio 
cavalry acting as escort. After escorting the stage 
stock to the new line of operations, the command 

[66] 



selected the site for Fort Halleck and constructed 
the buildings. The fort was located on the new 
Overland route and was garrisoned for some years 
by troops from the Eleventh Ohio. The official 
orders locating Fort Sanders in 1866 includes the 
abandonment of Fort Halleck. 

"A description of the equipment of the Overland 
road by Ben Holladay may not prove uninteresting, 
considering the great disadvantages the stage comp- 
any labored under in providing it. The coaches, 
express wagons and rolling stock generally were all 
manufactured by the famous Concord Coach Manu- 
facturing company of Concord, New Hampshire. 
This company not only manufactured the rolling 
stock but supplied the material used in the repair 
shops along the line. The harnesses were made by 
the Hill Harness company of the same city. The 
material in everything was of the very best. The 
stations along the line averaged about ten miles 
apart, and every fifty miles was what was called 
a 'home station,' where the drivers changed and 
made their homes. There were also eating stations 
for passengers. The intermediate stopping places 
were called 'swing stations' ; here only horses were 
changed, and at these were kept two men to take 
care of the stock. At every station was a large barn 
with accomodations for from thirty to fifty horses. 
The grain was supplied from Fort Kearney in 
Nebraska and Salt Lake. When there was a failure 
of crops, which sometimes happened, horse feed was 
shipped by wagon train from St. Louis. The main 
shops were located at Atchison, Kansas, Denver, 
Colorado, and Salt Lake, Utah, and there were re- 
pair shops on each division of 200 miles. Besides 
the repair shops, on each of these divisions was a 
traveling blacksmith shop. This consisted of a 
wagon fitted up with bellows and tools, drawn by 
a team of strong horses. The movable shop was 
kept going constantly from one end of the division to 
the other. There were also harness makers and 
menders, who traveled over each division with his 
tools and materials for repairing harness. The 
supplies for this long stretch of road — that is, the 
provisions used at the stations, were purchased in 
large quantities at St. Louis and sent out and dis- 
tributed among the division points, and from there 
they were sent to smaller stations as required. The 
company owned large transportation trains of ox 
and mule teams and these transported all supplies to 
stations, and on their return hauled wood to places 
along the line when it was needed. The first 
division on the main line was from Atchison to Fort 
Kearney; the second from Fort Kearney to Jules- 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



burg; the third from Julesburg to Denver; the 
fourth from Denver to Fort Steele, by way of Vir- 
ginia Dale ; the fifth from Fort Steele to Green river 
and the sixth from Green river to Salt Lake. Leav- 
ing Denver going west the stations in Colorado 
were Burlington, (Longmont), Namaqua, (Big 
Thompson), Laporte, Park and Virginia Dale. 
One of the superintendents was Major John Kerr, 
afterwards a well-known and much esteemed citi- 
zen of Berthoud, where he died several years ago." 

The Indian depredations on the Overland stage 
line in 1863, so intimately connected with the safety 
and success of that enterprise, in which Larimer 
county was deeply interested, a reference to them 
and the methods employed in preventing them and 
bringing the hostiles to terms, is not amiss here. 
Referring to and describing these events and their 
bloody results Coutant's history of Wyoming says: 

"On the 13th of April Gen. Connor, then in 
command of the United States troops employed in 
protecting the stage line and emigrants, on their 
way west, telegraphed General Halleck from Camp 
Douglass: 'Unless immediately reinforced with 
cavalry, the Indians urged on by the Mormons will 
break up the Overland mail and make the emigrant 
road impassable.' General Halleck referred this 
dispatch to General Schofield, commanding the de- 
partment of the Missouri, and that officer ordered 
Colonel John M. Chivington to send a cavalry 
force to reinforce General Connor, and the Colonel, 
after some delay, ordered four companies of the 
First Colorado cavalry, under Major E. W. Wyn- 
coop, to proceed west on the Overland stage line as 
far as Fort Bridger and cooperate with General 
Connor's forces. Two of these companies were 
taken from Denver and Major Wyncoop was or- 
dered to proceed with these to Laporte, where two 
other companies were located. Arriving there, he 
found that these troops were not mounted and were 
indifferently armed and so necessarily considerable 
time was lost before the troops were ready for the 
march westward. In the meantime, General Con- 
nor's forces had met the hostile Utes twenty-five 
miles west of Salt Lake, and after a severe engage- 
ment, had driven them to the hills. A number of 
emigrants had been killed in that vicinity; also 
soldiers and stage drivers. 

"The delay of Major Wyncoop's command re- 
sulted in permitting the Southern Utes to attack 
the Overland line on the Laramie Plains. On July 
5th, these Indians attacked the stage company's 
stage station at Cooper Creek and ran off all the 
stock, and the same night they visited Medicine 



Bow station and carried off all the provisions and 
stripped the keepers of the station. Hazard and 
Nicholas, of their clothing. The Indians, on being 
pursued by the soldiers took shelter in the hills. On 
the 10th the Indians ran ofE all the mules at Rock 
Creek station. These same hostiles ran off 250 head 
of horses a few miles from Fort Laramie. Extend- 
ing their route northward, they came upon 211 head 
of horses belonging to Reshaw and others. By this 
time the condition of affairs along the Overland 
route from Denver to the North Platte had become 
serious. Philip Mandel, the hay contractor on the 
stage line, had a number of encounters with Indians 
that season. He and his men went to the hay field 
armed with Winchesters and kept close at hand 
horses saddled, so as to fight or run as the occasion 
might require. These Indians belonged to the same 
tribe which had attacked the line beyond Salt Lake. 
General Connor, by urgent appeals, had secured 
reinforcements from California, composed of a 
battalion of the Second cavalry of that state." 

Matters along the stage line from Virginia Dale 
west were badly demoralized that season. Virginia 
Dale became a place of refuge for a number of 
women and children who had been living at stations 
on the line west of that point. The depredations 
committed by the Indians at Cooper Creek and the 
Medicine Bow stations on July 5 th and these points 
being in such close proximity, the station at Virginia 
Dale was kept in a state of fear of a visit from the 
hostiles for weeks afterwards. William S. Taylor, 
who was then station keeper at the Dale kept him- 
self advised as well as he could of the movements 
of the Indians and was prepared to give them a 
warm reception should they attempt to raid his 
station. One day word came down the line from the 
west that a strong party of Utes was on the way to 
raid the station and drive off the stock. His force 
of station tenders and their equipment not being 
sufficient to resist a large force of hostiles, he re- 
sorted to a stratagem which sufficed to relieve the 
situation. Calling his men together they constructed 
a rude barricade of logs and timbers at a narrow 
point which commanded the approach to the sta- 
tion. Taking down all the stove pipes in the house 
he mounted them on the barricade in such a manner 
as to make them look like formidable pieces of artil- 
lery, pointing up the road, all ready for use. The 
next day the savages made their appearance, but 
when they came in sight of that barricade and saw 
what they supposed were cannon pointing in their 
direction with men behind the guns ready to fire, 
they hurriedly whirled about and fled back toward 

[67] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



the Laramie Plains in great haste. Mr. Taylor, in 
telling the story how he outwitted the hostiles, said 
he was not troubled by Indian scares after that. 

When the stage line was transferred from the 
North Platte to the South Platte in 1862, nearly 
all of the tide of western emigration followed the 
route taken by the stage, as travelers felt greater 
security when under the protection afforded by the 
armed escort of the Overland coaches, with the 
result that hundreds of emigrant-trains and thous- 
ands of men, women and children came up the South 
Platte, and fording that stream just below the 
mouth of the Cache la Poudre river, following up 
the north side of the latter stream they pursued their 
course to the entrance to the mountains at Laporte. 
From this point they followed the stage road up 
past Virginia Dale and thence on northwest to the 
Laramie Plains. 

In the month of February, 1865, Colonel W. O. 
Collins of the Eleventh Ohio Cavalry, in whose 
honor Fort Collins was named, after a sharp fight 
at Mud Springs on the North Platte defeated and 
dispersed a party of 2,000 Indians that had come 
down from the north to raid the stage stations along 
the South Platte. Colonel Collins was an exper- 
ienced Indian fighter and he made excellent disposi- 
tion of his small force and won a signal victory over 
the enemy. Two of his soldiers were killed, sixteen 
wounded and ten badly frost-bitten. Colonel 
Collins with his command, returned to Fort Lara- 
mie on February 14th. Companies B and F of 
Colonel Collins' Eleventh Ohio cavalry, were then 
stationed at Fort Collins and took no part in the 
battle at Mud Springs. 

On March 28th, 1865, General G. W. Dodge, 
Commander of the Department of the Missouri, 
consolidated the districts of Utah, Colorado and 
Nebraska into one district to be known as the Dis- 
trict of the Plains and assigned Brigadier General 
P. E. Connor to the command with headquarters at 
Denver. General Connor was a man of decided 
character, discreet, a splendid Indian fighter, and 
above all things loved the flag under which he 
fought. Had he been supported as he should have 
been and given the troops he needed, he would have 
given the marauding, blood thirsty Indians such a 
lesson as would have convinced them that it was 
better to remain at peace with the whites. First 
Lieutenant, Charles C. Hawley, Veteran battalion, 
First Colorado cavalry, was appointed acting ord- 
nance officer for the South and West sub-districts 
of the Plains, on General Connor's staff. Lieuten- 

[68] 



ant Hawley is now and has been for more than 45 
years an honored resident of Fort Collins. 

On the 10th of June, Captain Wilson, command- 
ing the post at Fort Collins, reported that Indians 
had robbed the stage station at Willow Springs, and 
that he had started out in pursuit with a force of 
twenty-five mien, but owing to a bad storm coming 
on he was unable to get farther west than Virginia 




MARGUERITE FALLS, MORAINE PARK 
Photo by F. p. Clatworthy 

Dale, but that he had sent word to Sergeant Lin- 
nell, commanding the detachment at Big Laramie, 
to send five men to guard Willow Springs station. 
A few days before this a dispatch from Major 
Norton of Sixth U. S. volunteers, dated at Vir- 
ginia Dale and addressed to General Connor, said: 
"The stage from the West has just arrived at this 
station, having made but one change of horses from 
Fort Halleck. All stations have been abandoned by 
the stage company except Big Laramie. The stock 
has been concentrated at that place and Halleck. I 
learn from the passengers that fourteen horses were 
stolen from the latter place on the 4th inst. Unless 
the stage company reoccupy their stations I shall be 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



obliged to make a difEerent disposition of the escort 
for self-protection, if nothing else. There are large 
bodies of Indians on the road; the lowest accounts 
place them at from 600 to 800. I am on my way 
to Fort Halleck with Capt. Wilson and an escort of 
ten men." General Connor hastened to Fort Collins, 
where he found matters even in a worse condition 
than he supposed. Robert Spottswood, the superin- 
tendent of the stage line, had withdrawn all the 
stage stock east of Fort Halleck and declined to put 
it on again unless there was a guard of thirty men 
placed at each stage station. This was out of the 
question, so General Connor sent the mail through 
by wagons in charge of soldiers. 

It will be seen from the foregoing account of 
Indian troubles that while the settlers of the Cache 
la Poudre Valley escaped serious inroads and losses 
by the Indians, they were in the danger zone and 
liable at any time during the period of those troubles 
to be raided with loss of life and property. They 
had numerous scares and a few horses were stolen 
by the redskins, but we are unable to learn that any 
settlers in the valley lost their lives at the hands of 
the Indians. The Platte valley near Greeley did 
not get off so well. On the 24th of August, 1868, 
a small band of Indians stampeded the herd of John 
Brush, driving off all the horses, twenty-four in 
number, and killing four head of cattle. Some of 
them dashed upon William Brush and two of his 
men, killing all three. Each was shot three times, 
and in addition tomahawked and scalped. Horses 
were stolen from other residents in that vicinity. 
About dusk on the 27th, a party of sixty-four citi- 
zens, under the lead of D. B. Baily, started in pur- 
suit of the marauders, coming up with them at sun- 
rise on the morning of the 28th, within ten miles of 
a small settlement on the Platte called Latham. The 
Indians discovered their pursuers, hastily mounted 
and began circling around them after their usual 
form of attack, but were soon driven off, retreating 
towards the Kiowa. William and John Brush were 
brothers of Hon. J. L. Brush of Greeley, who is a 
member of the present State Board of Agriculture. 

Development of Irrigation in 
Colorado 

Agriculture by irrigation is comparatively a new 
feature in American farming. Unknown to the 
early Plains travelers, they all united in declaring 
the great arid region west of the Missouri a desert 
which could never become the home of civilized 
man, says a recent writer. But among those who 



became the first settlers of Colorado there were 
many who knew of irrigation in New Mexico, 
where for over 200 years it had been practiced by 
the Spaniards, and in California, where it had been 
adopted from Mexico, and in Utah, where it was 
being successfully inaugurated by the Mormons. 
Thej' believed that irrigated crops could be grown 
in Colorado. The first attempts were made in a 
small way along Clear creek, the Platte river, and 
Boulder creek, mostly with vegetable gardens and 
small grains. The fact was established that the 
soil was fertile, and would produce with abundance. 
The first ditches were small affairs and constructed 
in an inexpensive manner. They covered the first 
bottom land only. They were built and owned by 
companies of farmers, each one of which had land 
under the ditch. At this time the idea prevailed 
that the uplands could not be farmed. Down as 
late as 1874, probably, a majority of the farmers of 
the state held this notion, and as a consequence the 
agriculture of the state was confined to the valleys 
proper. But it was at last discovered that the soil 
of the bluffs and of the second and third bottoms 
was as rich and productive as that of the lower 
land, and farming began to push out from the im- 
mediate vicinity of the streams. This new departure 
involved a change in the manner and methods of 
building ditches; and at this point the big canal 
corporations came into existence. It was the con- 
struction of these great irrigating canals in Northern 
Colorado, in the San Luis valley, and in the valleys 
of the Arkansas and Grand, that brought thousands 
of acres of land under water and opened it to settle- 
ment and cultivation. This gave rise to the sale of 
what are known as water rights. It was argued 
that the construction of an irrigating ditch increased 
the value of all land to which it could furnish water, 
and hence the land owner was in equity bound to 
pay at least a portion of this appreciation to the canal 
company. Many of these irrigation companies have 
been land companies as well — buying the land in 
large tracts, constructing the canal, and then selling 
the land with water rights attached. It is un- 
doubtedly true that the highest interest of farmers is 
in the ownership of their own canals ; but it is also a 
fact that the great canals, which have required mil- 
lions of capital to construct would never have been 
built if the sale of water rights had not have been 
permitted. 

According to the State Engineer's reports, there 
are, in round numbers, 15,000 miles of main irrigat- 
ing canals in the state. Their cost may be approxi- 
mately estimated at $50,000,000, but considering the 

[69] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



value of their franchise in accordance with the de- 
crees of the Courts, it may safely be asserted that 
the irrigating canals of the State represent at least 
$100,000,000. 

The ultimate extension of the irrigated area of 
the state eastward toward the Kansas and Nebraska 
border is not to be doubted. With the development 
of the reservoir system to its extreme limits, their 
extension will be hastened. Another fact which 
assures an enlargement of the irrigated area is the 
return of water by seepage to the streams. Not- 
withstanding the large appropriations made from 
the Platte and its tributaries, the volume of water 
as measured 150 miles from the mountains is sub- 
stantially the same as at the canon. How is this 
accounted for? The great basin of the Platte has 
been irrigated for forty-five years. It has become 
thoroughly saturated with water — a vast under- 
ground reservoir, as it were, from which the river is 
fed. Thus the water which is used on the farms, 
say at Fort Collins, finds it way back by seepage 
into the river and is used again at Greeley. This 
same fact will also be demonstrated in the San Luis 
valley, and in the Arkansas valley, in the course of 
time, as neither of these sections have been irrigated 
as long as the district of Northern Colorado. 

One other consideration is worthy of note. The 
relations between forestry and irrigation are very 
intimate. Thirty-five years ago the streams were 
at a flood during most of the irrigating months 
Now they run low in July at least. The mountain 
forests which protected the snow banks have been 
depleted; these snow banks which formerly melted 
gradually and did not disappear until August, are 
now gone by the first of July. Hence the more 
sudden floods in the springtime, and the lower 
stages of water in July, August and the autumn 
months. It is not the irrigation ditches of Colorado 
that causes the Platte to run dry in Nebraska, the 
Arkansas in Kansas, and the Rio Grande in Mexico ; 
it is rather the destruction of the forests which de- 
prived the sources of supply of their natural pro- 
tection, and thus permanently changed the char- 
acter of our mountain streams. No one act of the 
federal government is more largely in the interest 
of agriculture and irrigation than the establish- 
ment of forest reservations about the sources of the 
great rivers which flow from the mountains out on 
to the Plains. 

While it is probably a fact that in most sections 
of the state the water limit has been reached, the 
following consideration will permit a gradual, but 
certain enlargement of the irrigated area. The 

[70] 



further building and establishment of reservoirs, by 
which the water that now flows to waste during the 
flood season in the spring and early summer will be 
stored for use during the irrigating season ; the con- 
tinued use of water by which the land will become 
thoroughly saturated, the seepage increased, and 
less water will be required to grow a crop than 
is used at present; and the more careful protection 
of mountain forests about the headwaters of the 
streams, by which a larger and more uniform vol- 
ume of water will be assured during the crop grow- 
ing months. 

The names of the more important ditches built 
and in operation in Larimer county, with date of 
priority, quantity of water appropriated, dates of en- 
largements and much other matter pertaining to 
irrigation will be found under the caption "Irriga- 
tion and Agriculture," immediately following these 
remarks : 

Irrigation and Agriculture 

The agricultural interests of Colorado, which, 
until about thirty years ago, were overshadowed by 
mining, stock growing and other interests, are now 
commanding the attention they deserve. Farming 
is now the leading industry of the state and the 
value of the products of the farm exceeds those of 
all the other industries. Agriculture is the founda- 




MITCHELL LAKE— ALTITUDE 8,000 FEET 

tion upon which the superstructure of all other in- 
terests rests. It forms the very basis of society and 
gives it that stability which is the keystone of pros- 
perity. Without agriculture as one of the principal 
industries of the commonwealth, its population 
must necessarily be fluctuating and unstable. In 
the early days the pioneers of Colorado paid but 
little, if any, attention to this pursuit. Gold was 
the talisman that drew them across the plains to the 
Rocky Mountains, and while they delved among 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



the rocks for the precious metal, the fertile soil along 
the water courses was left untouched by the plow, 
the hoe and the spade. Great caravans of wagon 
trains were employed to transfer to them from 
the Missouri river the necessary amount of flour, 
bacon and produce to enable them to prosecute their 
search for the hidden treasures of the mountains. 
The difficulty and uncertainty of obtaining supplies 
of fruit and vegetables by this method and the high 
prices they commanded, led to experiments in their 
production here, and the results were so marvelous 
as to yield and quality that the cultivation of the 
soil was extended, laying the foundation of our 
present agricultural prosperity. The pioneer far- 
mer had much to contend against. The climate 
was an untried one, and, though he might plant in 
the spring, he was not sure of a harvest. There was 
so little moisture in the air that irrigation was nec- 
essary, and of this science they were ignorant. For 
several years in the early 70's the grasshoppers har- 
vested their crops and the forces of Nature seemed 
to be arrayed against them. Now the climate is un- 
derstood, irrigation is practiced intelligently, and the 
appliances for overcoming the ravages of the pests 
that prey upon the farmer's fields and orchards 
have made the tillers of the soil masters of the situa- 
tion. Owing to the scarcity of water only a limited 
area of land, comparatively speaking, can be culti- 
vated, unless — as now seems probable — the system 
of dry land farming recently inaugrated in the arid 
regions proves a success. There are millions of 
acres of fertile lands in the state that can only be 
utilized for the production of crops through that 
system, for the water supply is insufficient to irri- 
gate them. Experience teaches us, however, that no 
matter to what state of perfection the system of dry 
farming may be brought, there will now and then 
occur crop failures on the unirrigated lands, there- 
fore irrigation is Colorado agriculture's main de- 
pendence. The writer has lived in the Cache la 
Poudre valley where agriculture is almost the 
sole industry, for more than thirty years, and 
has never yet in all that period of time known a 
total crop failure. There have been years in the 
early part of that period, before the irrigation sys- 
tems of the valley had been brought to their present 
state of perfection, when the water supply — owing 
to a light snowfall in the mountains — ^was insuffi- 
cient to irrigate the lands under ditches having 
junior appropriations, and, as a consequence, the 
crops failed to m.ature on those lands for the want of 
moisture. But this has never occurred on lands 



under ditches having early appropriations and prior 
rights to the use of the water flowing in the stream. 

During recent years the irrigation systems of 
Larimer county have been brought to a very high 
state of perfection, through the conservation of 
flood waters in storage basins and through more 
economical methods of distribution, so that at the 
present time there is little or no danger of a crop 
failure because of the lack of moisture. The reser- 
voir capacity of the county is now about ten 
billion cubic feet and contains water enough to 
cover 230,000 acres of land to the depth of one foot, 
and this water is used to supplement the supply flow- 
ing in the streams. In this way, practically all the 
land in the county that can be watered from the 
ditches is given the moisture needed to mature the 
crop. The reservoirs are filled during the fall, 
winter and early spring when the water is not 
needed for direct irrigation, and from the flood 
waters that pour down the streams in May and 
June. The stored water is held until needed for 
irrigating late crops, such as potatoes, sugar beets 
and the last cutting of alfalfa. 

Larimer .county is the banner agricultural 
county in the state, and the value of its farm prod- 
ucts is exceeded by no other county in Colorado. 

Ditches and Irrigation 

The first settlers of the Cache la Poudre valley 
early realized that successful agriculture in this 
region depended upon the application of water to 
the land by artificial means. Hence we see them 
either as individuals or as a group of neighbors 
banded together and uniting their forces in the con- 
struction of small irrigating ditches with a water 
capacity sufficient to irrigate their gardens, grain 
fields and meadows. Later on, as the country be- 
came more thickly settled and the demand for irri- 
gating facilities greater, companies were formed 
and incorporated to build larger and larger ditches 
to carry water out on to the table lands, which were 
found to be better for all kinds of farming purposes 
than the river bottom lands. 

The first irrigating ditch taking its water from 
the Cache la Poudre river was built in 1860 by 
G. R. Sanderson and used by him to water a farm 
now owned by Mrs. J. H. Yeager of Pleasant val- 
ley. The headgate of this ditch is near where the 
bridge crosses the river above Bellvue, and its prior- 
ity is dated June 1st, 1860. In 1863 Mr. Sander- 
son sold his squatter's right to the land he occupied 
to Joshua H. Yeager and the ditch was afterwards 



[71] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



known as Yeager ditch. The capacity of the ditch 
was established in 1882 at 24.80 cubic feet of water 
per second of time and given first priority. The 
ditch was enlarged in 1863 after Mr. Yeager 
bought the land, increasing the capacity to 33.50 
feet per second of time. It may also be stated here 
that the Yeager ditch was the second irrigating 
ditch built in all that part of Colorado lying 
north of the Arkansas river, the first one having 
been taken out of the Platte near Denver a few 
weeks before the date of the building of the San- 




CHAMBER'S LAKE, DAM AND RESERVOIR- 
ALTITUDE 9,000 FEET 

derson or Yeager ditch. The following table 
shows the date of construction, date of appro- 
priation and order of priority of all the irrigating 
ditches and canals in Larimer County, taking water 
from the Cache la Poudre river and its tributaries: 

Order of Name of Dhch No. cu. ft. for Total Am't 

When Built Piioiity or Canal each priority Appropriation 

June 1,1860. 1 Yeager ditch 24.80 

June 1, 1863. 8 Yeager ditch 8.70 33.50 

June 1, 1861. 2 Watrous, Whedbee & 

Secord 1.44- 

July 1, 1866.19 First enlargement 4.33 

June 1, 1868.29 Second enlargement 4.33 10.10 

June 10, 1861. 3 Dry Creek ditch 11.60 

Oct. 21, 1870.36 First enlargement 14.42 

Sept. 15, 1873.64 Second enlargement 12.13 

July 15, 1879.82 Third enlargement 12.70 50.91 

Sept. 1, 1861. 4 Pleasant Valley & Lake 

Canal 10.96 

June 10, 1864.11 First enlargement 29.63 

July 19, 1872.49 Second enlargement 16.50 

Aug. 18, 1879.83 Third enlargement 80.83 137.92 

Mar. 1,1862. 5 Pioneer Ditch Company 12.72 

Sept. 15, 1864.12 First enlargement 16.66 29.58 

June 1, 1864.10 Larimer & Weld Canal. 3.00 

Apr. 1, 1867.21 First enlargement 16.66 

Sept. 20, 1871.44 Second enlargement 75.00 

Jan. 15, 1874.69 Third enlargement 54.33 

Aug. 1, 1878.79 Fourth enlargement 571.00 719.99 

Apr. 10, 1865.13 John G. Coy ditch 31.63 31.63 

May 1, 1865.14 John L. Brown ditch... 8.00 8.00 

Mar. 1, 1866.15 Boxelder ditch 32.50 

[72] 



May 25, 
June 1 
Apr. 1 
Apr. 15 
Apr. 15, 

1 



Sept. 
Oct. 1, 
Mar. 1 
Mar. 10 
Mar. 15 
Mar. 20: 
May 
May 
June 
Apr. 
July 20, 
Sept. 
Sept, 
Oct. 10, 

July 2, 

Feb. 15 
Mar. 1 
May 1 



Mar. 10, 
Nov. 
Mar. 15, 
Apr. 
July 
Aug. 15 
Aug. 20, 
May 1 
May 15, 

Nov. 1 
Jan. 28 

Mar. 22, 



Mar. 
Oct. 
Apr. 
Apr. 15 



June 18 
Apr. 1 
Dec. 31 
Apr. 15, 



Sept. 1 
Jan. 19, 
Feb. 1 



Apr. 25 
Oct. 1 



1867.23 First enlargement 8.33 

1868.30 Second enlargement 11.93 52.76 

1866.16 Chamberlin ditch 14.83 14.83 

1866.17 Taylor & Gill ditch 18.48 18.48 

1867.22 Mason & Hottel Mill 

race 93.06 93.06 

1867.24 W. R. Jones ditch 15.52 15.52 

1867.25 Josh Ames ditch 35.92 35.92 

1868.26 Martin Calloway ditch. 15.22 15.22 

1868.27 Bristol ditch No. 1 15.22 15.22 

1868.28 Canon Canal ditch 8.60 

1873.55 First enlargement 48.88 57.84 

1869.31 Cache la Poudre Ir. Co. 62.08 
1873.57 First enlargement 20.42 82.50 

1869.32 Fort Collins Irri. ditch. 1.66 

1871.38 First enlargement 31.66 

1872.51 Second enlargement 33.33 

1873.63 Third enlargement 62.28 128.93 

1869.43 New Mercer ditch 4.16 

1871.46 First enlargement 8.33 

1872.48 Second enlargement.... 15.00 

1880.80 Third enlargement. .. 136.00 163.49 

1870.34 Bristol ditch No. 2 14.83 14.83 

1871.39 William Calloway ditch 

No. 2 21.05 21.05 

1872.47 Chaffee Irr. ditch 22.38 22.38 

1872.53 Lake Canal Co. ditch.. 158.33 158.33 

1873 . 54 W. S. Taylor ditch 28.60 28.60 

1873.56 Larimer County No. 2.. 175.00 175.00 
1873.59 Aquilla Morgan ditch.. 17.65 17.65 

J^"-" H. F. Sturdevant 10.66 10.66 

lo73 . bz 

1874.65 Vandewark ditch 10.16 10.16 

1874.66 Mitchell Weymouth 

ditch 17.35 17.35 

1874.67 Boyd & Stafford ditch.. 15.30 15.30 

1875.70 Wm. Calloway ditch 

No. 2 14.16 14.16 

1875.71 Wetzler Weymouth 

Mitchell 10.36 

1877.74 First enlargement 3.00 

2.95 



9.56 
17.50 



15.43 
3.40 



16.27 



13.36 
2.95 
7.23 



1875.73 Kitchel & Ladd ditch.. 

1878.76 Henry Smith ditch 7.23 

1878.77 Abram Washburn ditch 
No. 1 ;.... 

1878.78 Boxelder Reservoir ditch 

1878.80 Carter Cotton Mill Race 127.30 

1879.85 First enlargement 37.16 

1879.81 Abram Washburn ditch 
No. 2 

1859.84 Johnson, McNey & 
Chase ditch 

1880.86 Mitchell- Weymouth No. 
2 

1880.87 North Poudre Canal & 
Res. Co 315.00 

1881.89 Larimer County ditch.. 469.80 

1881.90 Eagle Nest Ranch ditch. 5.02 
These ditches were all proved up on and their 

priorities established by the court in 1882-3. Since 
then one large and several small ditches have tapped 
the Cache la Poudre river and its tributaries. In 
the above table the ditches taken out of the river 
to water Weld county land are not included. At 
its highest stage the river carries about 7,000 cubic 
feet of water per second and about 150 cubic feet 
at its lowest stage. The lowest stages occur in the 
winter time when the water is not needed for irriga- 



9.56 
17.50 

164.46 

15.43 

3.40 

16.27 

315.00 

469.80 

5.02 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



tion, and the water is then run into storage reser- 
voirs. In the foregoing table it will be seen that the 
figures in priority show the order in which the 
ditches are allowed to take water from the river. 
For instance: The Yeager ditch, the first con- 
structed, can take practically 35 cubic feet of water 
in advance of all other ditches, but its appropria- 
tion for its first enlargement, which was made three 
years later and numbered "8" cannot be used 
until all the other ditches and enlargements made 
during the three years' interval have been supplied. 
The system of water distribution under the Consti- 
tution and Laws of the state is an elaborate one, de- 
signed to provide for the beneficial use of water and 
to protect ditch owners and the users of water for 
irrigation in their respective rights. 

The Notorious Slade 

In Coutant's History of Wyoming reference is 
made to Joseph A. Slade, a notorious character, who 
when drunk, for about two years terrorized the peo- 
ple along the Overland route from Laporte west- 
ward, in the following terms : 

"Before closing the events of 1863, it will be 
necessary to introduce a notorious character in these 
pages. It was a recognized fact in the Overland 
days that all the officers and agents connected with 
the Overland stage were men of the highest char- 
acter with a single exception, and this individual 
was Joseph Slade. He was division superintendent, 
first with headquarters at Fort Laramie, and later 
established Virginia Dale, naming the place in honor 
of his wife. The incidents connected with this man 
Slade, I have drawn from numerous and what I 
consider reliable sources. 

"Hugo Koch, who now resides in Fremont 
county, Wyoming, tells me that he came west in the 
fall of 1858 and that at Atchison he joined a bull 
train which was in charge of Slade, who the follow- 
year became superintendent of a division of the 
Overland stage company in Wyoming. This, then, 
is the introduction of that notorious character into 
this country. Koch describes Slade as not far from 
thirty years old at that time, though he must have 
been older, as he was a volunteer in the Mexican 
war. He was rather under the medium size, dark 
complexion, firm set features and determined look. 
Slade was accompanied by his wife, who was rather 
good looking and about the same age as her husband ; 
weight about 160 pounds. Mrs. Slade was not alto- 
gether a lovely character, often interfering in her 
husband's business, and many of the difficulties he 



had with people originated with her. I have on the 
same authority something of Slade's early life. He 
was born in Southern Illinois and at the age of 
thirteen displayed an ungovernable temper and 
killed a man by striking him with a stone. This 
man had interfered with some boys with whom 
young Slade was playing. The father of the lad 
succeeded in getting him out of the country and 
sending him to Texas, where he grew to manhood 
and was married. His wife always possessed great 
influence over him, even when he was drunk. Soon 
after arriving in Wyoming he killed a man named 
Andrew Farrar. The two were drinking together 
at some point east of Green river and got into an 
animated conversation during which something was 
said about shooting. Slade remarking that no man 
must dare him to shoot ; Farrar, who was fast reach- 
ing a maudlin condition remarked, 'I dare you to 
shoot me.' Instantly Slade drew his revolver and 
fired, inflicting a dangerous wound on the person 
of Farrar. Horrified at what he had done, he ex- 
pressed the greatest sorrow to the wounded man and 
those around him and instantly dispatched a messen- 
ger on a fast horse to Fort Bridger to secure a sur- 
geon. The doctor came promptly, but his services 
were without avail, and Farrar died. As superin- 
tendent for the stage company, Slade had many ad- 
ventures. He conducted business in a manner satis- 
factory to the stage company and was noted for his 
promptness in all transactions relating to the passen- 
ger and express business. I find many old timers 
who were acquainted with Slade while he was in 
charge of a division of the Overland stage. All 
agree that he was a good man for the very difficult 
positions he held, but that he was a dangerous char- 
acter when under the influence of liquor. He had 
trouble with many people, and among others Jules 
Reni, a French Canadian, who had a ranch on the 
South Platte where Julesburg is located at the pres- 
ent time, this town being named after this Canad- 
ian. Reni and Slade often met and as often had 
misunderstandings. Finally they had a quarrel and 
Reni fired with a shotgun thirteen buckshot into 
Slade's person. Reni appeared well satisfied and 
said to some person standing near, 'When he is 
dead, you can put him in one of those dry goods 
boxes and bury him.' This remark was heard by 
Slade, and with an oath he replied, 'I shall live 
long enough to wear one of your ears on my watch 
guard. You needn't trouble yourself about my 
burial.' While the shooting excitement was still 
on, the Overland stage came along, and it chanced 
that the superintendent of the road was aboard. 



[73] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



This officer ordered the arrest of the would-be mur- 
derer, and those present took him into custody and 
proceeded to hang him. After he had been strangled 
until he was black in the face, he was allowed to go, 
on promising to leave the country, which he did for 
the time. Slade suffered from his wounds for 
several weeks and finally made a journey to St. 
Louis to procure surgical assistance. Seven of the 
buckshots were cut out and the balance remained in 
his person to remind him of vengeance. When he re- 
turned to the road he took occasion to send word to 
his antagonist that he was determined to kill him on 
sight, but he would not go out of his way to meet 
him. Reni, or Jules as he was always called, re- 
ceived Slade's message and at once returned to the 
division of the Overland where Slade was employed 
and on his way told several persons that he was a 
going to kill Slade. The latter was at Pacific 
Springs and heard of the threat, and he at once 
started for Julesburg. When he arrived at Fort 
Laramie he visited the officers and laid the subject 
before them and promised to take their advice. The 
officers understood all about the threats of both 
parties and frankly told Slade that in their judg- 
ment, Jules would kill him unless prompt measures 
were taken, and that he would have no peace on his 
division unless Jules was captured and killed. Slade 
now dispatched forces to Bordeaux's ranch, where 
he learned Jules had spent the night before. The 
instructions given the men were to make Jules a 
prisoner, securely tie him and await arrival of 
Slade, who was to follow on the next east bound 
coach. The men sent after Jules did not find him 
at Bordeaux's, so they went on to Chansau's ranch, 
the next station, where they found their man. They 
captured him without opposition, securely bound 
his hands and feet and placed him in the corral in 
the rear of the station. Slade came in the next 
coach, as agreed, and was rejoiced to find his enemy 
a captive. He went at once to the corral and on first 
sight leveled a pistol and fired. The ball struck 
Jules in the mouth but did not kill him ; a second 
shot passed through his head and produced instant 
death. Slade then returned to Fort Laramie and 
went through the farce of giving himself up to 
justice and demanded an investigation. The com- 
mander, of course discharged him, inasmuch as he 
had advised the killing. The story of this shooting 
has been told in many ways? I have met persons 
who claimed that Slade ordered Jules placed in a 
standing position and fired repeated shots, and be- 
tween each went to the station and invited the 
crowd to take a drink, and just before firing would 

[74] 



say, 'Now, Jules, I am going to hit you in such a 
place,' and being an expert shot he kept his word 
every time. Finally he cut off Jules' ears and put 
them in his vest pocket, after which he killed him 
outright. This story is told by some persons now 
living in this state, but I am satisfied they have been 
misinformed and that my account is substantially 
correct. The stage company investigated the affair 
at the time and while they did not approve of Slade's 
conduct, they permitted him to continue in his posi- 
tion as superintendent of his division. 

"Slade's whole connection with the Overland was 
the embodiment of ruffianism, and how he held his 
position with the stage company is hard to con- 
jecture. It may be that his reputation was some 
protection to the company, and that he had some 
ability to get stages through on time, but for all this 
he was a dangerous character when drunk, and in 
this condition he was very often found. He was 
guilty of many acts of violence toward men who 
were much better in every way than himself. After 
the stages were removed to the southern line, he on 
one occasion entered the sutler's store at Fort Hal- 
lock and amused himself by shooting holes through 
the canned goods on the shelf. At another time he 
took possession of the sutler's quarters and terror- 
ized everybody connected with the establishment. 
While he lived at Virginia Dale, his official duty 
frequently called him to Laporte. On one of these 
trips he 'shot up' the town. He entered the only 
store in the place with his companion, smashed the 
mirrors, opened the faucets of the vinegar and 
molasses barrels to see what sort of a mixture these 
two articles would make when sugar and flour were 
added. When Slade sobered up he came around and 
settled for the damage done, paying $800 for his 
fun. Charles W. Ramer had just come to this 
country then, and, from a safe distance at the rear 
of the store, saw the whole affair through a window. 
That was his introduction to life in the far west. 
For Slade's escapade at the sutler's store at Fort 
Halleck, the commander had him arrested and re- 
fused a release unless the stage company would first 
dismiss him from their employ. This was done and 
Slade found his way to Montana, where he had many 
adventures, and finally located at Virginia City in 
1864, where his frequent drunken brawls and high- 
handed acts of violence made him the subject of in- 
vestigation by the vigilantes, who sentenced him to 
be hanged. When informed of his fate by the exe- 
cutive officers of the committee, he fell on his knees 
and begged for his life. When he saw that it was 
useless to implore, he exclaimed. My God 1 My God ! 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Must I die?' A rope was thrown over the cross 
beam of the gateway of the corral and Slade was 
placed upon a dry goods box, the rope drawn tight 
and the box pushed from under him, and all was 
over. Mrs. Slade had been sent for, but arrived 
too late to see her husband alive. She threw her- 
self upon the dead body, closing the inanimate form 
in her arms, and gave vent to heart rending cries, 
followed by bitter curses upon those who hanged her 
husband. Finally, turning to those about her, she 
exclaimed in agony of grief, 'Why, oh, why did 
not some of you, the friend of Slade, shoot him 
down and not suffer him to die on the scaffold? I 
would have done it had I been here. He should 
never have died by the rope of the hangman. No 
dog's death should have come to such a man. ' 

The late William C. Stover, who was in Virginia 
City at the time, witnessed the execution of Slade. 
Like most of his class, who held human life cheap, 
Slade was a coward at heart, as his conduct at the 
time of his death proved. 

Slade's Dare-Devil Deeds 

Elsewhere in this volume is told the story of the 
desperado Slade, who served for a time as division 
superintendent of the Overland stage, with head- 
quarters at Virginia Dale. The incidents here re- 
lated were recounted by well-known citizens of 
Larimer county, who were personally cognizant of 
them and, in one instance, a victim of Slade's 
drunken fury, which give the stories a local coloring. 

Frank G. Bartholf, who was an early settler in 
the Big Thompson valley and a county commis- 
sioner in the late 80's, gives the following account 
of his first meeting with Slade: "I received my 
introduction to Slade over on the Little Thompson 
at the stage station in the fall of 1862. Slade was 
coming down over the line from his station at Vir- 
ginia Dale, and at Laporte he got drunk. Between 
Laporte and Big Thompson station he began firing 
down through the top of the coach and the four 
passengers inside rolled out on the prairie. Slade 
drove into the Big Thompson station at Mariana's 
on the dead run, and, going inside, ordered the 
agent, a man named Boutwell, to make him a cock- 
tail. A loaded shotgun stood in the corner. Slade 
picked it up and cocking both barrels covered Bout- 
well with it and ordered the drink mixed in a cer- 
tain manner. Hardly able to hold anything, his 
hand shook so, Boutwell did as directed. When he 
had completed the mixture, Slade ordered him to 
come from behind the counter and place the glass on 



the muzzle end of the gun, which he did, the two 
barrels of the gun staring him in the face all the 
way. 

"After pouring the decoction down his throat, 
Slade mounted the stage and ran the horses over to 
the Little Thompson station where one of them 
laid down completely exhausted. I was keeping the 
station for my brother-in-law, who had gone up into 
the hills to bring down his wife. As the stage 
drove up I went out to unhitch the horses. The 
driver made some insulting remark to me and I an- 
swered him pretty short. Biff. Something struck 
me across the right eye. I turned quickly and 
looked straight into the muzzle of two revolvers. I 
had never seen Slade before but I realized at once 
that we were introduced. After I went into the 
stable he walked over to where a couple of young 
fellows were camped and threatened to shoot one of 
their horses and did kill their dog that was quietly 
lying under the wagon. Then he kicked their coffee 
pot over, put out their fire and went off. All this 
time the two fellows with their guns in hand stood 
and watched him. He had terrorized them and 
they dared not lift a finger. Slade afterwards wrote 
me a letter of apology, saying he thought I was the 
agent and that he did not allow any of his agents to 
'sass him.' 

"That same year Slade had a good deal of trouble 
with his drivers, who were, for the most part, wild 
reckless characters, who got drunk at every oppor- 
tunity and endangered the lives of passengers by 
their abandoned driving. On one occasion, after a 
drunken driver had had a runaway and smashed up 
the coach and injured some of the passengers, he sent 
word to the agent at Laporte, who kept a grocery 
store, not to sell liquor to any of the drivers on his 
division. The agent sent back word that he would 
sell to whom he pleased, that Slade need not think 
because he had killed Jules, the agent was afraid of 
him. Two nights later when the stage drove up to 
the Laporte station Slade and three of his men 
walked into the store and began to shoot at the 
bottles on the shelves. Then they caught the agent, 
tied him with rope, spilled all the flour on the floor 
and opened all the faucets to the barrels of liquor 
and molasses and allowed their contents to mix 
with the flour. Then they went out of doors and 
taking runs, slid through the mixture on the floor. 
When they tired of their fun, Slade turned to the 
agent and said: 'Now, when I tell you not to sell 
liquor to my men, I mean it.' Slade was always 
cold-blooded and always took the advantage. His 
wife would fight at the drop of the hat and was 



[75] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



grittier than he was by long odds. Had she gotten 
to Virginia City before he was hung, there would 
have been a fight from the word go." 

First Wedding in Larimer County 

Weddings were not of common occurrence in 
pioneer days. Indeed, they were few and scattering 
for the first two or three years after the white set- 
tlers began to locate along the streams. This was 
largely due to necessity rather than choice. There 
were more bachelors than maids. As a matter of 
fact there were no maids at all, unless we except the 
copper-colored belles of the aborigines, whom a few 
of the first settlers, making a virtue of necessity, took 
to wife. The ceremonies accompanying these alli- 
ances were simple and very brief, consisting mainly 
of a tender by the groom of a pony, a blanket or a 
little coin of the realm to the reputed father of the 
dusky bride-to-be in exchange for her. If the tender 
was accepted, the expectant groom took his willing 
or unwilling bride to his cabin and set up a family 
altar without the formality of marriage vows or the 
incense of flowers. 

On New Year's day, 1862, there occurred, how- 
every, a regular wedding. It was the first to take 
place in the county and the ceremony was performed 
by F. W. Sherwood, who tied the marital knot as a 
representative of his brother. Judge Jesse M. Sher- 
wood, who was sub-Indian agent for the Cheyennes 
and Arapahoes and spent much of his time in Den- 
ver, looking after his charges. Just before Christ- 
mas, 1861, a son of Louis Cyr, a husky young fel- 
low, called at the Sherwood ranch and inquired for 
the judge, who was absent. Cyr called twice after 
that during the week and, on the first day of Janu- 
ary, made his third appearance and the judge was 
still absent. F. W. Sherwood, noticing the disap- 
pointed look the young fellow wore when told that 
the judge was not at home, asked if there was any- 
thing he could do. Young Cyr hesitated, but finally 
said he wanted to get married and wanted the judge 
to perform the ceremony. "If that is all you want," 
said F. W., "I can help you out. I can perform the 
ceremony as well as my brother." This pleased the 
young man, who said the wedding had been put off 
a week already and he didn't want it delayed any 
longer. The young fellow was honest and frankly 
told Mr. Sherwood he had no money. "Oh, that's 
all right," Mr. Sherwood replied. "I never charge 
anything for marrying people." 

Hardly were they in their saddles ready to start 
for the home of the bride, than the young man dis- 

[76] 



covered that Sherwood had no bible with him and 
called his attention to that fact. Sherwood replied 
that they didn't need it and that the bible played no 
part in his marriage service. Cyr, however, refused 
to be married without one. Sherwood dismounted, 
went into his house and brought out a large volume 
of Shakespeare's works, the sight of which satisfied 
the expectant groom. On arriving at the home of 
the bride-to-be a new difficulty presented itself. 
The young lady had disappeared and, of course, the 
wedding couldn't take place without her. She was 
the daughter of Suis Lewis and his Indian wife, 
wild and timid as a fawn. In extreme bashfulness 
she had hidden under a pile of blankets. She was 
soon discovered and on being brought from her hid- 
ing place, stood up with the young man and was 
married by the most intricate and involved method 
that frontier wits could devise. The service was an 
hour in length, and was witnessed by two gamblers 
named Mcintosh and Rice. 

After the ceremony Mr . Lewis, father of the 
bride, insisted upon a marriage settlement, which 
he proposed in the following manner: "You make 
paper that if my gal behave and boy get drunk and 
raise the devil, my gal get all his horses. If my gal 
do wrong by Lewis he tell her go 'hell.' " The 
"settlement" was drawn up and signed and that 
ended the ceremonies of the first wedding in Lari- 
mer county. 

It is presumed that Mr. and Mrs. Cyr lived 
happily together, as they do not figure in the records 
of the divorce court. 

First Term of the District Court 

The first general term of the district court held 
in and for Larimer county, opened on the 20th of 
October, 1868, in a hall on the second floor of the 
Grout building that stood at the corner of Jefferson 
and Linden streets, where Frank P. Stover's drug 
store now stands. This building was erected in 
1865 by Mason & Allen for use as a sutler's store. 
It contained a large store room, facing the north, on 
the ground, back of which were a warehouse and 
living rooms. On the second floor, reached by 
an outside stairway, there was one large room and 
two smaller ones. This was the only hall in the 
place until 1873 and was used for many purposes, 
church, Sunday school, theatre and court room. 
This old historic structure was razed to the ground 
in the spring of 1882. Although the county had 
been organized since 1864, no term of the district 
court had been held in the county until October 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



1868. The officers of the court at this time were 
William R. Gorsline of Central City, judge of the 
Second Judicial district of the Territory of Colo- 
rado. 

C. C. Post of Georgetown, district attorney. 

J. C. Matthews of Fort Collins, deputy clerk. 
(The name of the clerk at this time does not appear 
in the record.) 

H. B. Ch'ubbuck of Big Thompson, sheriff. 

The names of the grand jurors summoned for 
the term were: H. B. Blevins, George Brigham, 
John G. Coy, A. J. Ames, Fountaine Peterson, 
Neal Boulware, George E. Buss, James S. Arthur, 
G. R. Strauss, Thomas Sprague, Jesse M. Sher- 
wood, Edwin C. Smith, J. M. Smith, H. Samuels, 
Frank Gard, Judson Warren, G. L. Luce and Ben- 
jamin Claymore. J. M. Smith was appointed fore- 
man of the jury by the court. Ranger Jones, 
Thomas Sprague and George Van Dyke failed to 
appear at the opening of the court to serve as grand 
jurors, and the judge ordered an attachment issued 
for their bodies and placed in the hands of the sher- 
iff. The defaulting jurors were brought into court 
the following day, and after purging themselves of 
contempt, were directed to take seats with their 
comrades. 

The petit jurors drawn for the term were : John 
Palmer, Enoch Cornell, Fred Wallace, N. H. Mel- 
drum, C. C. Hawley, W. N. Payton, Rock Bush, 
F. W. Sherwood, Paul Tharp, A. R. Chaffee, H. 
Mannis, N. P. Cooper, Arthur Ames, John Baxter, 
John Hahn and W. C. Stover. Attachments were 
issued returnable October 21st, for Thomas Mc- 
Bride, also for the bodies of Joseph Musgrove and 
J. M. Eaglin, returnable at the succeeding term of 
court, all having failed to appear when summoned 
to serve as jurors. 

The grand jury disposed of all the business 
brought before it, reported to the court October 
21st, and was discharged from further service dur- 
ing the term. 

The cases docketed for hearing at this term of 
court, follow : 

The People vs. Samuel Dion, keeping gambling 
house. Continued for the term. 

The People vs. Peter Decony, keeping gambling 
house. Continued for the term. 

The People vs. Thomas McBride, contempt of 
court in failing to appear when summoned to serve 
as petit juror. Dismissed. 

Charles Pitts vs. H. Forbes; appeal from judg- 
ment of justice court. Appeal dismissed. 



James Maddux vs. Thomas Edward; appeal 
from justice court. Remanded to Justice of the 
Peace J. W. Smith of the Big Thompson for new 
trial. 

The People vs. Antonia Madeno; assault with 
intent to kill. Continued for the term. Adam 
Blackhurst and Sarah Blackhurst entered recog- 
nizance to appear and testify in the case at the next 
term. 

The People vs. Phillip Lariviere. Bond for 
appearance declared forfeited and district attorney 
directed to begin suit to recover the penalty named 
in the bond. 

Rufus Fitzhugh vs. F. W. Sherwood ; appeal 
from justice court. Continued for the term. 

John R. Brown vs. O. P. Bassett; appeal. Con- 
tinued. 

Mason & Co. vs. Edward Marshall. Continued. 

Rufus Fitzhugh vs. A. R. Chaffee. Dismissed. 

James W. Hanna vs. F. W. Sherwood ; replevin. 

After being in session three days, the court ad- 
journed for the term. 

Of the four criminal cases docketed for this term 
of the court, two were for keeping gambling houses, 
one for assault with intent to kill and one for 
adultery, neither of which was tried. It will thus 
be seen that the law abiding people of Larimer 
county, moved early in an attempt to break up 
public gambling. At the succeeding term of court 
which opened October 19th, 1869, Samuel Dion and 
Peter Decony were convicted of keeping gambling 
houses and fined $100 each and costs of suit. 

The second term of the district court opened 
October 19th, 1869, in the Grout building. The 
officers present were : 

W. R. Gorsline, judge. 

C. C. Post, district attorney. 

J. C. Matthews, deputy clerk. 

H. B. Chubbuck, sheriff. 

The grand jurors summoned for the term were: 
Revilo Loveland, Joseph Prendergast, John Davis, 
Zack Thomason, C. W. Howell, J. B. Arthur, A. 
K. Yount, William Samuels, James Milner, David 
Notman, N. H. Meldrum, Joseph Musgrove, B. T. 
Whedbee, J. M. Smith, Sr., J. M. Sherwood, A. A. 
Howard, Thomas Johnson, Thomas R. McBride. 
Joseph Mason, who had been summoned, was ex- 
cused from service on account of being postmaster at 
Fort Collins. Thomas Gill failed to appear and an 
attachment was issued for him. 

The petit jurors summoned were John B. Pro- 
vost, T. L. Moore, J. H. Yeager, John R. Brown, 
Peter Anderson, C. C. Hawley, Sherman Smith, R. 



[77] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



B. Wygal, James Carwile, James Eaglin, J. N. 
Hallowell, Frank Prager, John Parish, Reed Berry, 
George Litle, Guy H. Mannville, W. B. Osborn, 
Rock Bush, Austin Mason, William Rivers, John 
Theobald, A. A. Davis and E. N. Garbutt. Mr. 
Garbutt failing to answ^er to his name wrhen called, 
an attachment was issued for him. Mathews S. 
Taylor was admitted a member of the bar and 
allowed to practice in the courts of the Territory. 
Mr. Taylor was a brother of W. S-. Taylor who 
kept the Overland stage station at Virginia Dale 
and later Park and Laporte stations, and became a 
prominent member of the Colorado bar. He went 
to Leadville in 1877, and represented Lake county 
in the Second General assembly of Colorado. He 
was a brilliant lavtT^er, but died at Leadville in 
1884, while still comparatively a young man. 

No important cases came on for trial at the second 
term of court, and but little of moment was done 
save to continue most of the cases that had been 
docketed. Indeed, the dockets for the succeeding 
terms of court down to 1874 and 1875 fail to show 
that any cases of general or special interest were 
tried by the district court. The civil cases were 
mostly appeals from the judgments of either the 
county or justice courts and the criminal dockets 
being made up of misdemeanor cases, such as gamb- 
ling, keeping gambling houses or assaults. At the 
term of the district court held in July, 1874, the 
district attorney filed two informations, one against 
James Nugent, known as "Mountain Jim" of 
Estes Park for an assault on June 10th, 1874, with 
a deadly weapon, with intent to kill his neighbor, 
Griffith J. Evans, and the other against GrifRth J. 
Evans for shooting Mountain Jim June 19th, 1874, 
with intent to take his life. These cases excited a 
great deal of interest because of the prominence of 
the persons implicated and also because of the cir- 
cumstances which led up to the attempt of these 
two men to take each other's lives. A detailed ac- 
count of the troubles between Evans and "Mount- 
ain Jim" will be given in another chapter; also of 
the trial of John Phillips in July, 1875, charged 
with murder of Clarence Chubbuck. 

An Early Day Tragedy 

On the 19th of June, 1874, James Nugent, better 
known as "Mountain Jim," a famous hunter and 
trapper who lived in a cabin on the edge of Estes 
park, was shot and mortally wounded, the bullet 
lodging in his head. Nugent accused his neighbor, 
Griffith J. Evans, between whom and himself there 



had been bad blood for more than a year, of firing 
the shot that later caused his death. Evans was 
arrested, brought to Fort Collins, given a prelimin- 
ary hearing and bound over for trial in the district 
court. On the opening day of the 1874 term of the 
district court, which convened on the 15th day of 
July, 1874, in the Grout building, District Attorney 
Byron L. Carr filed an information with the clerk, 
charging Evans with assault with a deardly weapon 
with intent to kill Nugent. The case was not called 
for trial until July 14th, 1875, when District At- 
torney G. G. White, who succeeded Mr. Carr, 
entered a nolle prosequi in the case against Evans 
and the accused was discharged from custody. It 
developed between the time of filing the information 
and the opening of the July term of court in 1875, 
so it was alleged, that Evans was not guilty of the 
charge; that the shooting was done by a young 
Englishman, who had been sent out from England 
in December, 1873, to look after Lord Dunraven's 
interests in Estes Park, and who had left the coun- 
try. Nugent was brought down from Estes Park 
and lodged at the City hotel, then and for several 
years afterward, kept by Thomas L. Moore, where 
the wounded man received medical treatment. Nu- 
gent lingered between life and death until some time 
in September, 1874, when he died and was buried in 
Mountain Home cemetery where his bones yet re- 
main. Before he died, Nugent made a will which 
he directed should not be opened until after his 
death, and in it he bequeathed his favorite riding 
horse to Mr. and Mrs. T. L. Moore's infant 
daughter, Carrie, now Mrs. T. K. Seaton of Delta, 
and twenty head of cattle on the range in Estes park 
to Frank D. Morrison, a barber, who shaved the 
wounded man until he died. It took all of "Mount- 
ain Jim's" property, however, to pay his debts and 
funeral expenses so that the devisees got nothing. 

Mountain Jim was known all over the Territory 
as an expert hunter and trapper, who had many ex- 
cellent qualities of heart and mind as well as numer- 
ous bad ones. He often drank to excess and when in 
his cups was a quarrelsome and a difficult man to 
get along with, but in his sober periods, he was a 
well informed, genial and companionable gentleman. 
His neighbor in Estes park, Griffith J. Evans, was a 
stock man and either owned or managed for others, 
a large herd of cattle in the park. He lived in a 
large log cabin and had several outlying cottages 
near Clear lake where, in the summer season, he en- 
tertained visitors, tourists and hunters from whom 
and his herds of cattle, he derived a goodly income. 
There are several theories as to what caused the 



[78] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



trouble between "Mountain Jim" and Evans, but 
the most accepted theory is that "Mountain Jim" 
became enamored of Evans' seventeen-year-old 
daughter and that the young lady's parents disap- 
proved of his attentions to her. At any rate a cold- 
ness grew up between the two men, and "Mountain 
Jim" had been heard in his cups to threaten to do 
Evans up. After the arrival of the young English- 
man, whose name was Haigh, to take the manage- 
ment of Lord Dunraven's interests in the park, the 
young lady became much attached to him. They 
were often seen riding together which stirred 
"Mountain Jim's" anger toward Evans to the very 
depths. On the 10th of June, 1874, only nine days 
before he received his death wound, he fired from 
ambush and tried to kill Evans, but fortunately his 
shot missed its mark. On the day of the fatal shoot- 
ing, June 19th, "Mountain Jim" appeared at Evans' 
cabin in a frightful mood, threatening to kill Evans 
and Haigh if they dared to come out in the open. 
At this Haigh, it is alleged, stepped to the door and 
fired the .shot that a few weeks later ended the life 
of one of the most notorious characters that ever 
dwelt in the Rocky Mountains. 

In the fall of 1873, an English lady named Isa- 
bella L. Bird, spent several weeks with the Evans' 
family, becoming very well acquainted with both 
Evans and "Mountain Jim." The latter guided 
Miss Bird, Piatt Rogers and S. S. Downer, two 
young men tourists to the summit of Long's peak 
and she is believed to be the first woman to ever 
ascend to the top of this grim old guardian of the 
Continental Divide. In a series of letters written 
to her sister in London, Miss Bird graphically de- 
scribes Estes Park, the ascent of Long's peak, and her 
various experiences while a visitor in the park; giv- 
ing pen pictures of Nugent and Evans and her im- 
pression of the characters of the two men. She also 
wrote interestingly of other trips in Colorado made 
on horseback and her letters were published in book 
form in 1879-80. The book is entitled "Life in 
the Rocky Mountains." Her descriptions of Evans 
and Nugent and comments on their individual char- 
acteristics make very interesting reading. Describ- 
ing her first introduction to "Mountain Jim" she 
says: 

"A very pretty mare, hobbled, was feeding, a 
collie dog barked at us, and among the scrub not 
far from the track, there was a rude black log cabin, 
as rough as it could be, to be a shelter at all, with 
smoke coming out of the roof and window. We 
diverged towards it ; it mattered not that it was the 
home, or rather den of a notorious 'ruffian' and 



'desperado.' One of my companions had disap- 
peared hours before, the remaining one was a town- 
bred youth. I longed to speak to some one who 
loved the mountains. I called the hut a den, — it 
looked like the den of a wild beast. The big dog 
lay outside it in a threatening attitude and growled. 
The mud roof was covered with lynx, beaver and 
other furs laid out to dry, beaver paws were pinned 
out on the logs, a part of the carcass of a deer hung 
at one end of the cabin, a skinned beaver lay in front 
of a heap of peltry just within the door, and antlers 
of deer, old horseshoes, and offal of many animals 
lay about the den. Roused by the growling of the 
dog, his owner came out, a broad, thickset man, 
about the middle height, with a cap on his head, and 
wearing a grey hunting suit much the worse for 
wear (almost falling to pieces in fact) a digger's 
scarf knotted around his waist, a knife in his belt, 
and a 'bosom friend,' a revolver, sticking out of the 
breast pocket of his coat; his feet, which were very 
small, were bare, excepting for some dilapidated 
moccasins made of horse hide. The marvel w^as 
how his clothes hung together, and on him. The 
scarf round his waist must have had something to do 
with it. His face was remarkable. He is a man 
about forty-five, and must have been strikingly' 
handsome. He has large grey blue eyes, deeply set, 
with well-marked eyebrows, a handsome aquiline 
nose, and a very handsome mouth. His face was 
smooth shaven except for a dense mustache and im- 
perial. Tawny hair, in thin incorrect curls fell 
from under his hunter's cap and over his collar. 
One eye was entirely gone, and the loss made one 
side of his face repulsive, while the other side might 
have been modeled in marble. 'Desperado' was 
written in large letters all over him. I almost re- 
pented having sought his acquaintance. His first 
impulse was to swear at the dog, but on seeing a 
lady he contented himself with kicking him, and 
coming up to me he raised his cap, showing as he did 
so a magnificiently formed brow and head, and in a 
cultured tone of voice asked if there was anything 
he could do for me. I asked for some water, and he 
brought some in a battered tin, gracefully apolo- 
gizing for not having anything more presentable. 
We entered into conversation and as he spoke I for- 
got both his reputation and his appearance, for his 
manner was that of a chivalrous gentleman, his ac- 
cent refined and his language easy and elegant. I 
inquired about some beavers' paws which were dry- 
ing, and in a moment they hung on the horn of my 
saddle. Apropos of the wild animals of this region, 
he told me that the loss of his eye was owing to a 

[79] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



recent encounter with a grizzly bear, which, after 
giving him a death hug, tearing him all over, break- 
ing his arm and scratching out his eye, had left him 
for dead. As we rode away, for the sun was sink- 
ing, he said courteously. 'You are not an Ameri- 
can. I know from your voice that you are a country- 
woman of mine. I hope you will allow me the 
pleasure of calling on you.' This man, known 
through the Territories and beyond them as 'Rocky 
Mountain Jim' or more briefly, as 'Mountain Jim,' 
is one of the famous scouts of the plains, and is the 
original of some daring portraits in fiction concern- 
ing Indian frontier warfare. So far as I have at 
present heard, he is a man for whom there is now no 
room, for the time for blows and blood in this part 
of Colorado is now past, and the fame of many 
daring exploits is sullied by crimes which are not 
easily forgiven here. He now has a 'squatter's 
claim,' but makes his living as a trapper, and is a 
complete child of the mountains. Of his genius and 
chivalry to worrien there does not appear to be any 
doubt; but he is a desperate character, and is sub- 
ject to 'ugly fits,' when people think it best to 
avoid him. It is here regarded as an evil that he has 
located himself at the mouth of the only entrance to 
the park, for he is dangerous with his pistols, and it 
would be safer if he were not here. His besetting 
sin is indicated in the verdict pronounced on him by 
my host: 'When he is sober, Jim's a perfect gen- 
tleman ; but when he's had liquor, he is the most 
awful ruffian in Colorado.' 

Refering further to "Mountain Jim" in a foot 
note. Miss Bird says : "Of this unhappy man, who 
was shot nine months later within two miles of his 
cabin, I write in subsequent letters only as he ap- 
peared to me. His life, without doubt, was deeply 
stained with crimes and vices, and his reputation for 
ruffianism was a deserved one. But in my inter- 
course with him I saw more of his noble instincts 
than of the darker parts of his character, which, 
unfortunately for himself and others, showed itself 
in its worst colors and at the time of his tragic end. 
It was not until I left Colorado, not indeed until 
months after his death, that I heard the worst points 
of his character." 

Of GrifE Evans, Miss Bird speaks as follows in 
her charming book: "As I intend to make Estes 
park my headquarters until the winter sets in, I 
must make you acquainted with my surroundings 
and mode of living. The 'Queen Anne Mansion' is 
represented by a log cabin made of big hewn logs. 
The chinks should be filled in with mud and lime, 
but these are wanting. The roof is formed of barked 

[80] 



young spruce, then a layer of hay, and an outer 
covering of mud, all nearly flat. The floors are 
roughly boarded The 'living room' is about sixteen 
feet square, and has a rough stone chimney in which 
pine logs are always. At one end there is a door 
into a small bedroom, and at the other a door into a 
small eating room, at the table of which we eat in 
relays. This opens into a very small kitchen with 
a great American cooking stove and there are two 
'bed-closets' besides. Although rude, it is comfort- 
able, except for the draughts. The fine snow 
drives in through the chinks and covers the floors, 
but sweeping it out at intervals is both fun and 
exercise. There are heaps of rubbish places out- 
side. Near it, on the slope under the pine, is a 
pretty two-room cabin, and beyond that, near the 
lake is my cabin, a very rough one. My door opens 
into a little room with a stove and chimney, and 
that again into a small room with a hay bed, a chair 
with a tin basin on it, a shelf and some pegs. A 
small window looks on the lake, and the glories of 
the sunrise which I see from it are indescribable. 
Neither of my doors has a lock, and, to say the 
truth, neither will shut, as the wood has swelled. 
Below the house on the stream which issues from 
the lake, there is a beautiful log dairy, with a water 
wheel outside, used for churning. Besides this, 
there are a corral, a shed for the wagon, a room for 
the hired man, and shelters for horses and weakly 
calves. All these things are necessaries at this 
height. 

"The ranchmen are two Welshmen, Evans and 
Edwards, each with a wife and family. The men 
are as diverse as they can be. 'Griff,' as Evans is 
called, is short and small, and is hospitable, careless, 
reckless, jolly, social, convivial, peppery, good- 
natured, "nobody's enemy but his own.' He had the 
wit and taste to find out Estes Park, where people 
have found him out, and have induced him to give 
them food and lodging, and add cabin to cabin to 
take them in. He is a splendid shot, an expert and 
successful hunter, a bold mountaineer, a good rider, 
a capital cook, and a generally good fellow. His 
cheery laugh rings through the cabin from the early 
morning, and is contagious, and when the rafters 
ring at night with such songs as 'D'ye Ken John 
Peel'? 'Old Lang Syne', and 'John Brown', what 
would the chorus be without poor Griff's voice? 
What would Estes Park be without him, indeed? 
When he went to Denver lately we missed him as 
we would have missed the sunshine, and perhaps 
more. In the early morning, when Long's Peak is 
red, and the grass crackles with hoar frost, he 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



arouses me with a cherry thump on my door. 'We 
are going cattle-hunting, will you come? Or will 
you help to drive in the cattle? You can take your 
pick of the horses. I want another hand.' Free- 
hearted, lavish, popular, poor 'Griff' loves liquor 
too well for his prosperity, and is always tormented 
by debts. He makes lots of money, but puts it in 
'a bag with holes.' He has fifty horses and 1,000 
head of cattle, many of which are his own, all 
wintering up here, and makes no end of money by 
taking in {)eople at eight dollars a week, yet it all 
goes somehow. He has an industrious wife, a girl 
of seventeen, and four ybunger children, all musical, 
but the wife has to work like a slave ; and though he 
is a kind husband, her lot as compared with her 
lord's, is like that of the squaw. Edwards, his part- 
ner, is his exact opposite, tall, thin, and condemna- 
tory-looking, keen, industrious, saving, grave, a tee- 
totaler, grieved for all reasons at Evans' follies and 
rather grudging; as naturally unpopular as Evans 
is popular; a 'decent man', who, with his indus- 
trious wife, will certainly make money as fast as 
as Evans loses his. 

"The regular household living and eating to- 
gether at this time consists of a very intelligent and 
high-minded American couple. The Mr. and Mrs. 
Dewey, people whose character, culture and society 
I should value anywhere; a young Englishman, 
brother of a celebrated African traveler, who, be- 
cause he rides on an English saddle, and clings to 
some other insular peculiarities, is called 'The Earl' ; 
a miner prospecting for silver; a young man, the 
type of intelligent, practical 'Young American,' 
whose health showed consumptive tendencies when 
he was in business, and who is living a hunter's 
life here; a grown-up niece of Evans; and a melan- 
choly-looking hired man. A mile off there is an in- 
dustrious married settler, and four miles off, in the 
gulch leading to the park 'Mountain Jim,' other- 
wise Mr. Nugent, is posted. His business as a 
trapper takes him daily up to the beaver dams in 
Black canon to look after his traps, and he generally 
spends some time in or about our cabin, not, I can 
see, to Evans' satisfaction, for, in truth, this blue 
hollow, lying solitary at the foot of Long's Peak, 
is a miniature world of great interest, in which love, 
jealousy, hatred, envy, pride, unselfishness, greed, 
selfishness and self-sacrifice can be studied hourly, 
and there is always the unpleasantly exciting risk 
of an open quarrel with the neighboring desperado, 
whose 'I'd shoot you' has more than once been heard 
in the cabin." 



I have reproduced, verbatim, this much of Miss 
Bird's charming book to show the characters she 
came in contact with, their modes of living and the 
conditions that existed in Estes Park in the closing 
weeks of 1873 when she was a guest of the Evans' 
family, and also that the reader may get a glimpse of 
the causes that led up to the fatal quarrel a few 
months' later, which resulted in "Mountain Jim's" 
death. The very fact that no very strenuous 
effort was put forth by the authorities to ap- 
prehend and bring to justice the young English- 
man, who is said to have sent a bullet into 
"Mountain Jim's" head, lends strength to the 
belief that the community at large and the officers 
of the law, were only too well satisfied to get rid 
of a troublesome character and terror of the region, 
to give much thought or attention to the manner or 
means of his removal, or to exert themselves in 
capturing the man responsible for it. 

In another part of this book will be found Miss 
Bird's beautiful pen picture of Estes Park as she 
saw it through the eyes of an enthusiast; and also 
a description of her ascent of Long's Peak, with 
"Mountain Jim" as guide. 

Killing of Clarence Chubbuck 

Hardly had the excitement over the Estes Park 
tragedy subsided, in which "Mountain Jim's" life 
came to an inglorious but deserved end, when an- 
other took place, this time in the Big Thompson val- 
ley, and another victim of the ever ready gun came 
to an untimely death. The principals in this trag- 
edy were John Phillips, a stockman, and Clarence 
Chubbuck, foreman of a cattle round-up then in 
progress. The cattle had been gathered in a bunch 
on ground now occupied by Lake Loveland, a short 
distance north of the present thriving city of Love- 
land, and owners were engaged in cutting out or 
separating their animals from the general herd. 
This was on Saturday, June 5th, 1875. A dispute 
arose between Phillips and Chubbuck over an 
unbranded steer, which Phillips said belonged to 
him. Chubbuck contested the claim and there were 
angry words between the two men. Finally Chub- 
buck became exasperated and in the heat of passion 
assaulted Phillips with a blacksnake whip, which 
he always carried on the round-up, and drove the lat- 
ter out of the camp, forbidding him at the same time 
to return. On leaving camp Phillips declared that 
he would come back the next day and defend his 
rights to recover what he claimed to be his property. 
Aside from the whip that Chubbuck carried, neither 

[81] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY. 



COLORADO 



man was armed at the time of the encounter on 
Saturday. The following day, Sunday, June 6th, 
while the cowboys were still separating the herd, 
Phillips returned to the camp, armed with a 
revolver, and demanded his steer, which brought on 
another quarrel. Chubbuck ordered him off the 
ground but Phillips stood his ground and refused 
to leave. At this Chubbuck leapt from his horse 
and started for Phillips, who was a cripple, flourish- 
ing his whip in a threatening manner. Because of 
his infirmity, Phillips was unable to keep out of his 
antagonists way .and fearing humiliation and bodily 
injury at the hands of the foe, he drew his revolver 
and fired at Chubbuck, inflicting a mortal wound. 
The wounded man was carried to his home, where 
he died on Monday evening declaring just before 
death intervened that he alone was to blanie for the 
shooting. 

Immediately after firing the fatal shot Phillips 
mounted his horse and rode to Fort Collins and 
gave himself up to Sheriff Joseph Mason. He at 
once retained L. R. Rhodes, still an eminent mem- 
ber of the Larimer County bar, to defend him, 
and instructed Mr. Rhodes to employ Thomas M. 
Patterson and Judge James B. Belford of Denver, 
to assist in the defense. The killing of Chubbuck, 
who was a popular young man and a son of one of 
the pioneers of the Big Thompson Valley who had 
been county superintendent of schools, created in- 
tense excitement all over the county and the feeling 
against Phillips was very bitter. There were 
threats of lynching and Jio doubt they would have 
been carried into efifect if the people of the Big 
Thompson valley had succeeded in getting Phillips 
in their possession. On the day following Chub- 
buck's death a warrant was sworn out and placed 
in the hand of Constable Charles P. Scott, after- 
wards county clerk for two terms, with instructions 
to arrest Phillips and bring him before a justice of 
the peace on the Big Thompson. In the meantime 
Sheriff Mason had deputized L. R. Rhodes and 
Eph Love to guard his prisoner, and they, knowing 
what the feeling was over on the Big Thompson, 
declined to surrender Phillips, fearing that he would 
be strung up on the first handy cottonwood if he 
should be given up to Constable Scott and returned 
to the scene of the tragedy. Mr. Scott returned 
to the Big Thompson without the prisoner and a 
posse comitatus was raised to take Phillips away 
from his guards by force. The posse was to come 
to Fort Collins in the night, overpower the guards, 
sieze Phillips and take him back among those who 
were clamoring for his life, but word of their in- 

[82] 



tentions reached the guards, through a friend, in 
time to make preparations for outwitting the posse. 
Phillips, thoroughly armed, was locked in Mr. 
Rhode's office in the old Grout building and in- 
structed to shoot the first man that attempted to 
break down the door. The posse halted about 
where the Agricultural College stands and sent 
three spies into town to locate the man they sought, 
but they met with no success, and the posse returned 
to Big Thompson disappointed and not a little 
discomfitted. 

The district court convened that year on the 
14th of July, with Judge A. W. Stone of Denver on 
the bench. The other officers of the court were: 
George G. White of Denver, district attorney; 
Joseph Mason of Fort Collins, sheriff ; Chase With- 
row, clerk, by A. H. Patterson, deputy. 

The grand jury was sworn and charged and be- 
fore the close of the first day's session returned an 
indictment charging John Phillips with the murder 
of Chubbuck on the 6th of June, 1875. Because of 
the interest taken in the trial of Phillips, court was 
held in the Methodist church, a frame structure 
which stood about a block west of the Colorado & 
Southern passenger station, as it afforded more 
room than the hall in the Grout building. Phillips 
was arraigned on the day the indictment was found 
and pleaded 'not guilty'. The case was set for trial 
July 18th and when the day for the hearing ar- 
rived the church was filled with court officers, 
witnesses and spectators, many of the latter coming 
from long distances, as this was the first murder 
case tried in the district court in the history of the 
county. Phillips was prosecuted by the district 
attorney, assisted by Mayor E. L. Smith and 
Mitchell Benedict of Denver, and ably defended 
by L. R. Rhodes of Fort Collins, assisted by 
Thomas M. Patterson and Judge James B. Belford 
of Denver, who were then acknowledged to be two 
of the ablest attorneys in the Territory. Since then 
Messrs. Patterson and Belford have both represent- 
ed Colorado in the National House of Representa- 
tives, and Mr. Patterson has served one term in the 
United States Senate. 

The jury impanelled and sworn to try the case 
was composed of John W. Tharp, Robert Craig, 
Joseph R. Wills, W. S. Vescelius, Joseph C. Egbert, 
N. W. Platte, James Earnest, J. W. Boyd, Jack 
Dow, Richard Burke, J. W. Smith and Albert B. 
Tomlin, all residents of the Cache la Poudre val- 
ley. Eph Love was appointed official court re- 
porter and the trial proceeded, occupying several 
days of the term. The case went to the jury on 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



July 21st, and a verdict of "not guilty" was re- 
turned the same day. The dying declaration of 
Chubbuck that "he alone was to blame for the 
shooting" which was testified to in court, had great 
weight with the jury in reaching a conclusion. 

Thus ended Larimer county's first murder trial. 
Realizing that it would be unsafe for him to remain 
in Larimer county, Phillips immediately disposed 
of his cattle and horses and went to the southern 
part of the Territory, where it is believed he died 
a few years ago. 



John C. Ish of Fort Collins, takes exceptions to 
some of the statements made in the foregoing ac- 
count of the killing of Clarence Chubbuck. In the 
first place he says that he and not Chubbuck, was 
foreman or captain of the cattle round-up that year, 
and that he saw the trouble between Chubbuck and 
Phillips the first day and heard the shooting at the 
time of the tragedy but did not see it as he was on 
the opposite side of the cavayard, superintending the 
cutting out of the cattle. Mr. Ish says that Phillips 
and Chubbuck had some hot words the day before 
the shooting at Mariana's lake, but he positively 
denies that Chubbuck struck Phillips with a black- 
snake whip or anything else. Chubbuck had a whip 
with him, as did others engaged in the round-up, 
but did not use it on Phillips. He was close by the 
two men, heard their conversation and saw all of 
movements and knows that no assault was made on 
Phillips that day. The jwrangling between the two 
men interfered with the work of the round-up and 
Mr. Ish finally sent Phillips off to another part of 
the field, so that the work of cutting out cattle 
could proceed. The following day the cattle were 
rounded up where Lake Loveland is now and 
Phillips came there armed and demanded a cow 
that Frank Bartholf claimed. Mr. Ish knew the 
cow belonged to Phillips and sent word to Bart- 
holf, who was on the opposite side of the cavayard, 
to turn the cow over to Phillips. While Bartholf 
and Phillips were having some words over the 
ownership of the cow, Chubbuck came up and 
joined in the dispute. The quarrel of the day be- 
fore between Phillips and Chubbuck was renewed 
and Phillips repeated statements which he said 
Chubbuck had made concerning him the day before. 
Chubbuck replied, "that's a dammed lie. I made 
no such statements". At this Phillips jumped off 
his horse, drew his gun and taking deliberate aim, 
shot Chubbuck in the back as he turned and fled on 
seeing the gun. Phillips then remounted his horse 



and rode off on a dead run. Mr. Ish says he heard 
the shooting and, putting spurs to his horse, rode 
around the cavayard to where Chubbuck laid on 
the ground, suffering from the fatal bullet wound. 
The young man was taken to his home where he 
died the following day. Mr. Ish says he shall al- 
ways think and believe that it was a case of pre- 
meditated murder, that Phillips came there that 
day with the intention of killing Chubbuck., He 
says that Phillips was a busherwhacker in Missouri, 
during the civil war, and that he boasted of having 
once, while concealed in the underbrush, shot and 
killed a Union man who was walking along the 
road with a baby in his arms, killing the baby also 
with the same shot. Mr. Ish also says he under- 
stood that after his acquittal by a jury in the district 
court, Phillips went north and was shot in Dakota 
for stealing cattle. 

Pioneer Incidents and Adventures. 
Story of Jim Baker 

Old Jim Baker, the noted Indian fighter, front- 
iersman, scout, and hunter, whose death at the ad- 
vanced age of 90 years occurred in May, 1898, was 
well known by a number of Larimer county people. 
In 1852, nearly 60 years ago, he and William T. 
Shortridge of Fort Collins, and Maj. John Kerr of 
Berthoud, built and operated a ferry at the Green 
river crossing. That was during the time of the 
great rush to the California gold fields and the 
ferry made money for its owners hand over fist. G. 
R. Strauss of Timnath also knew Baker well. 
Baker, Strauss, Bob Lawrence and a man named 
Brown hunted during the winter of 1860-1 in the 
mountains north of Livermore, their camp being 
on what is now known as the Halligan ranch on the 
North fork of the Cache la Poudre river. They 
also camped for a time where the late Harry Gil- 
pin-Brown's residence now stands on the Lone Pine. 
Deer and mountain sheep were plentiful in those 
days, each of the hunters killing two wagon loads 
of game which they marketed in Denver. All of 
these actors in early day events have gone to their 
reward. Lawrence and Brown died many years 
ago. Maj. Kerr in 1895; Jim Baker in 1898; Bob 
Strauss in 1904 and W. T. Shortridge in 1905. 

A Fierce Indian Battle 

The ridge north of the present headgates of the 
Larimer County Canal was the scene in the fall of 
1858, of a fircely contested battle between a band 



[83] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



of Arapahoe Indians, under the leadership of Chief 
Friday, and a large hunting party of Pawnees. The 
story of this fight was told to H. C. Peterson by 
Chief Friday himself. 

The Pawnees were out on their annual buffalo 
hunt in territory claimed by the Arapahoes, who 
were bitter and remorseless enemies of the tres- 
passers. The Pawnees were discovered by the Arap- 
ahoes who gave chase and drove the former to the 
top of the ridge where a firce three day's battle was 
fought. The Arapahoes occupied the gulch north 
of the ridge and greatly outnumbered the Pawnees, 
but the latter had the advantage of location and 
fought with desperation knowing, that if they fell 
into the hands of their old-time, remorseless enemies 
they would be tortured, every last one of them. The 
battle raged hotly and fiercely for three full days, 
neither side giving away. Finally, taking advantage 
of a terrific mountain storm which occurred on the 
night of the third day's fight, the Pawnees slipped 
quietly off the ridge and made their escape. The 
story told by Chief Friday is borne out by the find- 
ing of the skeleton of an Indian by William Shipp 
on the battle field, in December 1884. The skeleton 
was found in a sort of cave in the bluffs and had 
evidently lain there for several years as there was 
nothing left but the naked bones that afforded any 
clue to its history. As it was the custom of the 
Indians to carry away from the battlefield all their 
dead so their enemies would not know the extent 
of their losses, it is probable that the warrior whose 
bones were found, having been wounded in the 
fight, had crawled into the cave and died there 
without the knowledge of his companions. At any 
rate, the ridge, along whose abrupt side the Poudre 
Valley canal now winds its way, has become his- 
toric ground. Chief Friday did not know how many 
of the Pawnees were made to bite the dust in the 
conflict, but said the Arapahoes lost a good many 
warriors, owing to the fact the Pawnees were able 
to shoot their arrows from the top of the ridge 
down among the besiegers with frightful effect. 
That is believed to have been the last Indian battle 
fought in Larimer county. 

Greeley's Ride With Hank Monk 

Horace Greeley and party in going from Denver 
in 1859 on the Overland stage to California, passed 
through Larimer county. The road then crossed 
the Big Thompson at Mariana's place and hugging 
the hogbacks, crossed the Poudre at Laporte, and 
thence on into the mountains via Virginia Dale. Mr. 

[84] 



Greeley and party were entertained for the night in 
Laporte on this trip. It was on this trip that Mr. 
Greeley made his memorable ride over the Sierras 
with Hank Monk as driver. At Virginia City, 
Nevada, Mr. Greeley suggested that he would like 
to get over the road a little faster, as he had a 
lecture engagement in California. "All right", 
said Hank, as he gathered up the rains of six half 
wild mustangs. "Keep your seat, Mr. Greeley, and 
I will get you through in time." Crack went the 
whip, the mustangs dashed at a fearful pace up hill 
and down along precipices frightful to look at, over 
rocks that kept the noted passenger pawing frantic- 
ally between the seat and ceiling of the coach. Mr. 
Greeley was getting more than he bargained for and 
he mildly suggested that a slower pace would suit 
him better, as a half an hour, more or less, would not 
make much difference. But Monk was in for his 
drive and his joke, and replied again with a twinkle 
of his eye, after a fresh cut at his mustangs, "Just 
keep your seat, Mr. Greeley, and you shall be 
through in time." Mr. Greeley kept his seat as 
well as he could and got through unharmed, on 
time, rewarding Hank Monk with a new suit of 
clothes. For years afterwards. Hank wore a watch 
with his reply to Mr. Greeley engraved upon it, the 
present of some other passenger whom he had 
driven safely over his perilous route. 

Denver McGaa 

In January, 1897, the Denver Republican told 
the following story about Denver McGaa, the first 
baby born in Denver: 

"The first living thing that was born in Denver", 
said Amos Steck yesterday, "was a dog and that 
was named Denver. The next was Jack McGaa's 
baby boy, and he was named Denver. A man 
named Cromwell was here then keeping a place 
called 'The Stage', and he was so enthusiastic over 
the birth of this baby that he sold a fine horse for the 
money necessary to celebrate the event, and as long 
as the price lasted everybody had an opportunity to 
drink to the health of Jack McGaa's kid. I saw 
the baby when it was a little scrawny thing about 
two days old, and the last time I saw him was when, 
he was six years old on his father's ranch near Fort 
Collins, a short time before Jack died. The baby 
was born in June, 1859, and is now a big man, 
standing about six feet two. His mother was a 
Sioux, and, consequently, Denver learned the Sioux 
dialect. Five or six years ago when the Northern 
Sioux were preparing for the outbreak at the Pine 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Ridge agency, Denver McGaa was among them. 
They didn't know that he understood their language 
and, consequently, he learned all of their plans, 
and at once rode away to the nearest military post 
and reported the situation to the commanding officer. 
The result was that the Indians were not given 
time to perfect their plans and the contemplated 
outbreak was nipped in the bud." 

Denver McGaa remained a resident of Fort 
Collins until 1879, when he went north to join the 
tribe to which his mother belonged. He has since 
visited here several times and is well known to 
many of the early settlers of the valley. 

Two Early Day Duels 

In the spring of 1861, said the Denver Inter- 
Ocean in March 1882, a gay and festive Frenchman, 
a mule shoer by profession, and the late Joseph 
Mason of Fort Collins, who was killed in 1881 by 
the kick of a wicked broncho, woed a charming 
Indian maiden, the belle of the wigwam, the pink- 
eyed Mary Polzell. They quarreled. There was 
not squaw enough for two, so the blacksmith con- 
cluded that one or the other had to die. He sent a 
challenge and Mason accepted. The hour and place 
was fixed. It was on the banks of the Platte, near 
where the Larimer street bridge in Denver now 
crosses the stream. A thousand people gathered 
there to witness the scene of two Frenchm.en wallow- 
ing in each other's gore. It was a fizzle. The black- 
smith's teeth began to chatter as the umpire paced 
the ground, and when the seconds loaded the pistols 
his knees gave way, he fell to the ground a limp and 
limpsy lover. 

In March 1860, Dr. Stone of Central City 
challenged Lew Bliss, who, in 1878-9, was an assist- 
ant under T. J. Montgomery in the Colorado Cen- 
tral railroad depot in Fort Collins. Bliss being 
the challenged party, had choice of weapons, and he 
selected shot guns loaded with slugs, just fitting 
the barrel. Stone was known to be a dead shot with 
the pistols and Bliss was equally expert with the 
shot-gun. Bliss was unhurt, but Stone received a 
terrible wound in the thigh and groin, from which 
he died after lingering several months and wasting 
to a mere skeleton. 

Thought Country Almost Worthless 

Learning through Judge Neil F. Graham of Fort 
Collins, that Hon. Eugene F. Ware, former Pension 
Commissioner under President Harrison, but now a 
prominent attorney of Kansas City, Kansas, had 



scouted through this section of the State while a 
member of the 7th Iowa Cavalry, I wrote to him 
for such facts as he could recall touching conditions 
in the Cache la Poudre valley when he was here. 
I will note in this connection that Mr. Ware and 
Mr. Graham are warm personal friends and Mr. 
Graham had often heard Mr. Ware relate his ex- 
perience on the Plains in 1864-5. 

Mr. Ware's reply to my letter soliciting historical 
information follows, and while it does not throw 
much light on the subject in hand, it does give his 
impressions of this country as it appeared to him at 
that time. He says : 

Kansas City, Kansas, 

April 5, 1910. 

"Your kind favor is at hand. I was glad to hear 
from Mr. Graham. He deserves well wherever he 
goes. 

"The date which you set is an error. I was out in 
that country scouting for Indians in 1864 with the 
7th Iowa cavalry. We were up at Fort Laramie 
and north of it, and south of it. At Fort Laramie 
was Lieut. Col. Collins. He had a son, Casper 
Collins, who was killed by the Indians. Fort 
Collins was named after the Colonel and Fort Cas- 
per was named after the son. The town of Casper 
further north, is the survival of the name. We 
scouted down in the country, of which you speak, 
and west from Julesburg up the Lodge Pole to 
where Cheyenne now is. The country was bleak 
and arid and I would not have given ten cents a 
square mile for it. There was, of course then no 
city of Cheyenne or even a beginning of it. The 
country was wholly desolate and forlorn, it seems 
to me, although in the spring it looked a little better. 
A great change has come over the country as it does 
over every country where a white man goes and 
settles." Yours truly, 

E. F. Ware. 

Profits of Early Day Gardening 

That those who tilled the soil in the early days of 
the Cache la Poudre vailey reaped rich rewards for 
their labors is illustrated by the following account 
of G. R. Strauss' experience as gardener, as told the 
writer by himself: 

In 1864, Mr. Strauss tilled nine acres of land 
facing on the Howes lane — then the route of the 
Overland stage company from the Sherwood place 
to Laporte — nearly opposite Judge A. F. Howes' 
house. That spring he invested, his last dollar at 

[85] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Laporte for a sack of flour (flour was then only $12 
per sack) purchased seed on credit and planted a 
market garden. His success that year may be under- 
stood when it is stated that the profits from the nine 
acres, after the cost of seed, implements and other 
contingent expenses had been paid, were $2,500. 
The ruling price for potatoes was 25 cents per 
pound, and for cabbage 30 cents. 

The stage, which made its nearest division station 
at Laporte, passed his door and the driver would 
generally be entrusted with baskets and sacks to be 
filled with vegetables and other products of Mr. 
Strauss' garden. As the stage frequently passed 
in the night, the produce, when in readiness, was 
placed upon a flat stone at the gate and the driver 
would stop, pick it up and carry the sacks to their 
destination. Upon the return trip, the buyer, who- 
ever he chanced to be, deposited the amount due to 
pay for his purchases with the stage driver, who in 
turn, upon arriving at Strauss' gate, raised the flat 
stone and laid the money thereunder. So prevalent 
had this method of transacting business become, 
that frequently weeks at a time passed that Mr. 
Strauss and the stage driver did not see each other, 
but the money was always in its place and the gar- 
den truck in readiness. In relating this incident 
Mr. Strauss said that he had frequently lifted the 
flat rock to find $150 under it. No road agents 
lurked about in those days to surprise the unsuspect- 
ing stage driver, and no greedy spy ever discovered 
the novel cash drawer and robbed it to gratify his 
cupidity. 

The spring of 1864 witnessed an unusual amount 
of water in the river and the flooding of the Howes 
meadows. Mr. Strauss was awakened one night 
to find water nearly two feet deep over his floor. 
He was obliged to wade out and seek higher ground, 
taking with him what he could conveniently carry 
and placing the remainder out of danger until the 
flood subsided. Exactly forty years later, almost to 
a day, poor Mr. Strauss, then old and feeble, met 
death in a similar flood. In trying to escape from 
his home, through which the water was pouring in 
torrents to go to the home of a neighbor, he was 
swept by the current against a fence and held there 
all night long until chilled to the marrow. He 
died shortly after being discovered by his neighbor, 
James Strang, and rescued from his perilous posi- 
tion. 

"Ranger" Jones and the Indians 

"Ranger" Jones was one of the pioneers of the 
Cache la Poudre valley and one of the best known 

[86] 



characters of the early days. He was a stockman 
and owned a ranch on the north side of the river a 
short distance west of the present town of Tim- 
nath. The farm is now owned by Herman Strauss. 
He used to declare in emphatic terms that he, the 
late William C. Stover and the late John B. Provost 
built the range of mountains to the west of Fort 
Collins. He was the father of Mrs. Thomas Earn- 
est and along in the 70's returned to his former 
home in Missouri, after amassing a fortune in the 
stock business, where he died several years ago. 
Many interesting stories are told of his eccentricities 
by the surviving old timers. Here is one of them: 

"Sometime during the Indian troubles on the 
Plains, Ranger Jones, an old-time stockman, well 
known all along the Platte and in Wyoming, was 
driving the mess wagon for his own round-up outfit, 
near Cedar Buttes, in Logan county, when sud- 
denly Indians appeared and fired on the outfit. 
'G'lang Pete'. Git, Sue!' shouted Ranger, laying 
the bud lustily on his team, already frightened into 
a run by the yells of the Indians. Full three miles 
away, one cowboy overtook the old man still laying 
on the whip, and rolling lively wheels for the River- 
side ranch, twenty-five miles distant. 'Hold up, Mr. 
Jones' shouted the cowboy, the Indians have got all 
the horses and gone. Danger is all over. Hold up, 
you're spilling all the cooking fixings. Hold up, 
you've spilled the frying pan and pots. Whoa!" 

"No more use have I for frying pans in this 
world, my son", replied Ranger, laying on more 
bud. Seeing that talk was useless the cowboy 
grabbed the team by the head, swung them around 
and stopped them. 

Prisoner Escaped on Court's Horse 

In 1864, while the county seat was located at 
Laporte, the county commissioners appropriated 
$150 to be used in building a log jail. The contract 
was let to Uncle Ben Whedbee, who died in 
November, 1910 at the advanced age of 97 years, 
and Mr.Blevins, father of Montie Blevins of North 
Park, who completed the building in due time and 
according to plans and specifications. Charles W. 
Ramer, now a retired merchant and hotel keeper, 
hauled the logs for the building from the mountains 
with an ox team. The late John C. Matthews, 
who was later county clerk and still later a promi- 
nent merchant, was the only justice of the peace 
at Laporte, and it is still told of him that he dealt 
out justice in his court with an impartial hand. 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNT Y 



COLORADO 



Shortly after the completion of the jail, two 
horse thieves who had been bound over by Justice 
Matthews for trial in the district court, were con- 
fined in it in default of bail. It fell to their lot to 
be the first prisoners to be confined in the new jail. 
One night not long after their incarceration they cut 
their way out of jail and decamped, taking Squire 
Matthews' only horse and saddle with them. It is 
needless to say the Squire never afterwards saw 
hide nor hair of his horse, saddle and prisoners. In 
1868, when the county seat was moved to Fort 
Collins, the jail building was taken down and 
moved to the new county seat where it was rebuilt 
and for several years served the purpose for which 
it was originally erected. In 1880 after the Ted- 
mon house was built the old jail was converted into 
a laundry for the hotel and used as such until the 
Union Pacific railroad had it torn down and re- 
moved to make room for its tracks through the city. 
Squire Matthews never, so long as he lived, heard 
the last of the scurvy trick the horse thieves played 
on the court. 

Mariana and His Rifle 

Many stories were told in the early days about the 
ways and manners of Mariana Modena, the Big 
Thompson pioneer who kept the Overland stage 
station at his place for several years. The following 
appeared in the Denver Field & Farm in March 
1890: 

"Nearly thirty years ago, while traveling in the 
Taos valley in New Mexico, we chanced to camp 
for the night at the same watering place with a 
dude-looking Spaniard or Mexican named Mariana 
Modena. He had a squaw wife who wore a blanket 
and moccasins. Mariana wore a blanket coat gaily 
ornamented with silk. When upon the road he rode 
in a dilapidated carriage with a pair of Hawkins 
rifles within easy reach. His team of four horses 
was guided by an Indian who rode the right wheeler 
and directed the leaders with a jerk line. Mariana 
was a pompous little fellow who had not only lived 
with Indians but had killed many, and was as 
watchful as a hawk lest some buck came upon him 
unaware and claimed revenge. When at home he 
lived in Colorado on the Big Thompson and was 
well fixed with cattle, sheep and ponies. But when 
Jack — the renegade Indian Chief — ^was out Mariana 
kept in. On this occasion Mariana was down in 
New Mexico to let Jack have Northern Colorado 
to himself. As he expressed it to us, 'he didn't want 
to kill an Indian, but should have to if he got his 



eye on Jack', said he', I am carrying six bullets in 
my body that Jack and five others have fired at me 
at different times, and when I meet one of them I 
am in duty bound to kill him. Jack is the only one 
left — I'll get him by and by." 




MARIANA MODENO, FIRST SETTLER IN THE BIG 
THOMPSON VALLEY; NOTED SCOUT, TRAP- 
PER AND INDIAN FIGHTER 

In after years we became well acquainted with 
the Spaniard or Mexican when at his home on the 
Big Thompson. He was a kind hearted fellow, who 
as the saying went, 'was no coward', but always kept 
company with his Hawkins rifle. You could never 
hail him at his door but he came out smiling with 
"Old Lady Hawkins", as he called his gun, in his 
hand. Well, after a time — in June 1878 — from the 
effects of the numerous bullets he had in his body, 
poor Mariana laid down and died. But before 
crossing the range he sent for his good friend. Gen. 
A. H. Jones of Denver, and presented him his much 



[87] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



beloved Hawkins rifle. It is stated as a fact that 
that gun had killed more Indians than any other 
gun in history. 

A Soldier's Epitaph 

In 1864-5 and 6, when the United States soldiers 
occupied Camp Collins, the high ground at the 
southwest corner of College avenue and Oak street, 
which the Government recently purchased as a site 
for the new federal building for which money has 
already been appropriated, was consecrated as a 
burial place for those who died here while in the 
service of their country. A number of soldiers were 
buried here and in 1874 their graves were opened 
and the bodies of the dead transferred to Mountain 
Home cemetery, situated in the southeastern part 
of the city limits, and reinterred. Six of these 
graves were found, but the names of only one of the 
occupants has been preserved. In opening the grave 
a bottle containing a paper bearing the following 
was found by J. E. Shipler, at the head of it : 

Post Hospital, Camp Collins, 

Colorado Territory, Nov. 8, 1865. 

"To Whom It May Concern: 

"I am really sorry to be pained with the duty of 
announcing the death of hospital steward, W. W. 
Westfall, of Company 'F' 13th Missouri Veteran 
Volunteer Cavalry, which sad event transpired on 
the 8th day of November, 1865, at the hour of 6:20 
p. m. at this place. 

"Poor Westfall took ill on the morning of the 3rd 

of November, '65 and after having suffered the most 

excruciating agony from typho-gastro-interic disease, 

died on the evening of the 8th of November, 1865. 

"Brave, though mild, and clever too. 

Was W. W. Westfall: 
We buried him in U. S. blue 

When the Lord did on him call. 

"His sister, R. T. Westfall, resides in Taylor- 
ville, Illinois." 

It is a pity that the name of Westfall's compan- 
ions who died in the wilderness during their trying 
early years, have not been preserved in local annals. 
The new postoffice which the Government will in 
due time erect on the ground occupied by the first 
made graves of those valiant soldiers and patriots, 
will be a monument to the memory of. their heroic 
deeds by which it was made possible to rear a city 
in what was a trackless wilderness when they gave 
up their lives. 

[88] 



Stories About Old Times 

In 1865, Graham flour was almost unknown in 
Larimer county. One time when white flour was 
not to be had for love nor money, the late Charles 
W. Howell, who then lived in Pleasant Valley, 
went to the Laporte store where he bought fifty 
pounds of the coarse flour. It seems that he and his 
good wife, who still survives him at an advanced age, 
were sublimely innocent regarding the excellent 
qualities of that kind of flour, and the next day, 
Charlie took the flour back to the store and told the 
storekeeper that his wife had tried her level best to 
make bread, biscuits and cake out of that flour and 
couldn't do it to save her. Continuing, he said "if 
old man Graham couldn't make any better flour 
than that, he'd better go out of the business." 
Charley never heard the last of his experience with 
Graham flour as long as he lived. 

All old timers remember Judge Howard who 
lived at Laporte. The judge was a well-educated, 
clever old man, but too fond of his toddy. One 
time when he was pretty full, he was taken before 
a justice of the peace and accused of stealing 
whiskey. Several well-known residents of the 
vicinity at that time acted as attorneys and witnesses. 
The judge was found guilty and sentenced to be tied 
to the spokes of a wagon wheel and given nothing 
but whiskey until he starved to death. Accordingly, 
the judge, who was pretty well scared out of his 
intoxication, was tied to a wagon wheel and the 
wheel set in motion so that part of the time his head 
and then his feet were in the air. He was finally 
left in that position nearly half the night, howling, 
praying and threatening dire vengence upon his 
tormentors. It was a long time after that before 
the judge allowed the cup that cheers to get the 
better of him. 

The judge had a habit, after leaving the store, 
of putting his ear to the keyhole to listen to what 
was being said about him by those on the inside. A 
stage driver found it out and put up a job on the old 
man. One night after Judge Howard had pur- 
chased a large paper sack full of eggs he left the 
store, but stopped to listen at the keyhole. The stage 
driver began at once to tell in a loud voice how the 
judge had once stolen an old blind mule and eloped 
with the owner's wife. In a moment the door was 
flung open and the judge, livid with rage, bounded 
in and exclaimed : Gentlemen, you are a set of liars 
and robbers! Forgetting his eggs, the old man 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



slammed the sack down on the counter and smashed 
every one of them. 



While A. H. Patterson had charge of Stover's 
store at Laporte in 1870, he fixed up a game for 
loafers. It consisted of a needle with a spring at- 
tachment at one end of the counter and a string 
leading to the opposite end, which, when pulled gave 




LULU FALLS, ESTES PARK 
Photo by F. P. Clatwohthy 

a vigorous thrust to the needle up through a hole 
in the counter. One day Bill Taylor sauntered in 
and settled himself on the counter right over the 
needle. Someone slipped around and gave the string 
a vigorous yank. Bill hunched up one shoulder and 
shut one eye, at the same time moving rather livelier 
than usual in getting off the counter. He caught on 
but was mighty quiet about it. The next victim to 
learn the secret was Norm Meldrum, who after- 
wards, became State Senator, Secretary of State, 
Lieutenant Governor and the Surveyor General of 
Colorado. When the needle sprung, Denny, as he 
was called, shot off the counter and let out a war- 



whoop that would have done justice to a Sioux 
Indian. It wasn't long until Johnny Theobald, the 
shoemaker, came in and squatted down right over 
that mischevious needle. Bill Taylor, thirsting for 
revenge, slipped around and pulled the string. Peck, 
peck went the needle and still Johnny sat looking as 
innocent and unsuspecting as a spring chicken. 
After Bill had began to sweat around the collar from 
pulling the string, Johnny moved leisurely off 
the counter and reaching into the bay window of his 
trousers, drew out a piece of heavy sole leather. 
Somebody had put him wise to Billy Patterson's 
trick and he came prepared to turn the laugh on the 
other fellow. 

Indians Steal Rock Bush's Horses 

In 1865, a band of thieving, blood-thirsty Sioux 
Indians swooped down upon the Cache la Poudre 
valley and drove off a large number of horses. 
Among the sufferers from the raid was Rock Bush, 
who lost several head of animals. He put in his 
claim for damages to the Government soon after, 
and in November 1886, twenty-one years afterward 
— he got word from Washington that he had been 
allowed $700 — the amount of his actual loss with- 
out interest. His claim, with thousands of others of 
a similar nature, had laid in some pigeon hole at 
Washington all that time awaiting the slow-going 
movements of the powers that be. Mr. Bush, who 
is still living and one of the surviving venerated 
pioneers of the Cache la Poudre valley, was thank- 
ful that his life was spared to see the end of the 
matter and to enjoy the use of the money so long 
past due. 

Indian Raids and Scares 

The pioneers of Larimer county had many things 
to contend with, some of them of a nature to 
severely test their courage and fortitude. All of the 
country northwest, north and northeast was swarm- 
ing with thieving, blood-thirsty savages, until after 
the Union Pacific railroad was built to Cheyenne. 
The settlers were always in constant fear of a raid 
by these marauders. Their fears were often aug- 
mented by a number of French settlers who rode up 
and down the river, spreading alarms, for some of 
which there was sufficient cause, but in many in- 
stances they were entirely baseless. When danger 
was apprehended the settlers left their homes and 
hid themselves away as best they could. On one 
of these occasions Andrew Ames of the Poudre Val- 
ley picketed his seventeen horses and lay in the 



[89] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



field for several days watching them day and night. 
At last, worn out by his vigils, he fell asleep and 
the next morning every animal was gone. Borrow- 
ing a mule from Jesse Sherwood, he started on the 
trail of the supposed Indians, and at Denver dis- 
covered that the thieves were a band of Mexicans. 
He recovered nearly all of his horses and returned 
home. 

The settlers were often more apprehensive of the 
degraded whites connected with the Indians than of 
the Indians themselves. Many an outrage charged 
to the Indians in those days was committed by white 
outlaws or Mexicans. In times of danger, after the 
soldiers came to Camp Collins, in 1864, the men 
hurried their families to the post while they re- 
mained at home watching their property from hiding 
places near at hand. 

The state of feeling that existed in Indian times 
is illustrated by the following incident: A man 
named Charles Facet kept three or four large ox 
teams at Spring Canon. One day he come rushing 
to Judge Howes' place on the Poudre, on a panting 
pony, with another man on behind, and said the 
Indians were after him and had stolen his cattle 
and driven them into the hills. The settlers rallied, 
the soldiers turned out and a big crowd went back 
with Facet, where they found the cattle grazing 
quietly. A few half-breeds from Laporte gathering 
berries had thrown the man into a panic. The 
nerves of the inhabitants were nearly all of the time 
strung to the highest tension by fear of Indian 
raids. 

The Overland stage employes were also a source 
of annoyance. They were, as a rule, a drunken, 
carousing set of men, and Slade, who had charge of 
this division, was a desperado of the first water. 
Andrew Ames furnished the Laporte station and the 
next station west with hay. In his commonest bus- 
iness transactions with Slade the latter always kept 
his hand on his gun. It was one of Slade's pastimes 
at Laporte to hold a cocked revolver in a stranger's 
face and march him into the saloon to drink with 
him. One day Slade and most of his men got on a 
tear at Laporte and dumped the storekeepers' gro- 
ceries into the middle of the floor, poured molasses 
and flour all over them and then called the propri- 
etor in, the men then putting him in the stage, 
hauled him to the Laramie Plains, where they 
dumped him out. This little bit of fun cost Slade 
and his gang $800, which he promptly paid after 
sobering up. 

[90] 



First Wedding in Fort Collins 

On December 30, 1866, occurred the first wed- 
ding solemnized in Fort Collins, the contracting 
parties being the Hon. Harris Stratton, a former 
member of the Kansas Territorial Legislature, and 
Mrs. Elizabeth L. Keays, a niece of "Auntie" Stone, 
Fort Collins' first permanent white woman settler. 
The ceremony was performed by County Judge 
Jesse M. Sherwood, a pioneer of the Cache la 
Poudre valley, in a small log house built for Col- 
onel Collins' headquarters, which stood just back 
of where the Tedmon house now stands. The wed- 
ding guests were C. Boulware, H. C. Peterson, A. 
H. Patterson, Norman H. Meldrum, "Auntie" 
Stone, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Forbes, Dr. and Mrs. 
T M. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. N. P. Cooper and 
their three daughters. In 1867 Mr. Stratton rep- 
resented Larimer county in the Colorado Territor- 
ial Legislature. One of the guests, Hon. Norman 
H. Meldrum, was a member of the Territorial 
Council in 1875, and was the first State Senator 
elected from the county after Colorado became a 
state, serving in the first General assembly. In the 
fall of 1878 he was elected secretary of state and 
re-elected in 1880, serving two full terms, and was 
appointed surveyor general of Colorado by Presi- 
dent Arthur in 1883, and in the fall of 1886 was 
elected Lieutenant Governor of Colorado. He is 
now a resident of Buffalo, Wyoming. He and the 
bride and Mrs. A. J. Ames of Denver, who was 
one of the Cooper girls, are believed to be the only 
survivors of that happy wedding party. Mrs. Strat- 
ton is still a greatly beloved resident of Fort Col- 
lins and, though having passed four score years, she 
enjoys good health and takes a great deal of interest 
in public affairs. Three lovely daughters were born 
of this union, Lerah, Marguerite and Sophia, the 
first named being Mrs. P. J. McHugh of Fort 
Collins, and the last named Mrs. A. Anderson, late 
of Columbus, Nebraska, but now of Imperial Val- 
ley, California. Marguerite died a few years ago 
while serving as librarian of the State Agricultural 
College. 

"Billie" Hayes' Dog Feast 

In 1865, when the soldiers were stationed at 
Camp Collins, Joseph Mason kept a sutlers' store in 
the Grout building, which stood on the corner, 
where Frank Stover's drug store now stands, and 
W. D. Hayes, known as "Billie" Hayes, was one 
of his clerks. Chief Friday and his band of Ar- 
apahoes were camped on Mr. Coy's place. The 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



squaws and their papooses used to hang around the 
store a, good deal, the little Indians shooting at a 
mark with their bows and arrows. They would hit 
a penny fastened in a split stick stuck in the ground 
almost every time. One day, thinking to have some 
sport with "Billie," they got him out to shoot with 
them. "Billie" was a good shot with the bow, 
but his dusky friends didn't know it. He took the 
bow and made all sorts of awkward moves and wild 
shots, which greatly pleased the Indian boys and 
their mothers. Finally one of the squaws pointed to 
an Indian dog in the street as if to say "shoot him." 
"Billie" drew his bow and sent an arrow clean 
through the dog, killing him instantly. The squaws 
immediately set up a wail of lamentation over the 
death of the dog. At last one of them gathered the 
dog in her arms and started for home. The next 
day "Billie" was invited to the Indian camp to take 
dinner. He went, but when his dusky hosts served 
up the feast he coucluded his stomach was a little too 
sensitive to hold dog-meat and he declined the prof- 
fered dish. The squaws, thinking they had called 
the turn on him, had a good laugh over his squeam- 
ishness. The soldiers at the post took it up and 
"Billie" wasn't allowed to forget his dog feast while 
he remained here. Mr. Hays is now a prosperous 
banker at Hastings, Michigan, but no doubt often 
recalls his experiences in Fort Collins, forty-five 
years ago. 

Made Good Indians 

In April, 1899, Lieutenant D. McNoughton of 
Grand Rapids, Michigan, spent a few days in Den- 
ver, and in an interview with a reporter for the Den- 
ver Republican, related the following incident which 
occurred when his command of the Seventh Mich- 
igan succeeded the Eleventh Ohio troops at Camp 
Collins, early in 1865: 

"In 1865 a band of Sioux captured two wagons 
loaded with government supplies, a few miles north- 
west of Camp Collins, on the Salt Lake coach road. 
The drivers escaped and reported the facts to the 
officers in command at the camp. In the pursuit 
of the Indians, two of Lieutenant McNoughton's 
command were killed, but several of the Indians 
were 'good' from thenceforth. At the time of the 
attack on the wagons, a soldier had been captured 
and his charred body was found bound with chains 
to the wreck of the wagon, where he had been 
burned alive by the redskins." 

The fight with the Indians spoken of by Lieuten- 
ant McNoughton took place June, 1865, at Wil- 



low Springs, the next stage station west of Virginia 
Dale. 

Pioneer Incidents 

In 1883, the late Augustine Mason related the 
following incidents which came under his notice 
in the early days of the settlement, with some of 
which he was personally connected : 

"While Chief Friday and his band of Arapahoes 
were camped on the Sherwood place, a band of rov- 
ing Cheyennes set up their tepees for a few days on 
the north side of the river, nearly opposite Chief 
Friday's camp. This bunch of Cheyennes were 
warriors who had participated in many of the fights 
against the whites on the Plains, while Chief Fri- 
day and his band were peaceable and friendly to- 
ward the white settlers, and the Cheyennes taunted 
them with being squaw men and afraid to fight. 
At last one of the latter asked Chief Friday if he 
had a fighting man in his band. This aroused the 
indignation of Friday's son. Bill, and he shot the 
Cheyenne dead with a revolver. For fear that his 
act would get his father into difficulty, the young 
Indian took his three squaw wives and fled north 
out of the country. Later, when he supposed the 
trouble had blown over, he attempted to return 
to his father's camp and was overtaken by a party of 
Pawnee warriors, who killed him, cut off his head 
and set it on a pole, and otherwise horribly mu- 
tilated his body. His three squaw wives were taken 
prisoners." 



"Mr. Mason bought the Rist Canon road of Joe 
Rist in 1868 for $75. His brother, Joseph Ma- 
son at that time owned the bridge over the Poudre 
In Pleasant Valley. As it fell to the brothers to 
keep the road and bridges in repair, Joseph sug- 
gested that they make the county a present of 
both properties, which they did." 



The first Catholic services conducted on the 
Poudre were held in the fall of 1866. Bishop 
Machebeuf, then a priest, celebrated mass on a 
Saturday in Mrs. Stratton's school house in which 
she was teaching a private school. The following 
day mass was celebrated again in Henry Forbes' 
house, which stood on the farm lately owned by 
William F. Watrous. In 1878, after the Reming- 
ton school building was about ready to occupy, the 
old public school building, the first one erected in 
Fort Collins, was purchased by the Catholics and 



[91] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



fitted up for church purposes and was thus occupied 
until the beautiful new church on Mountain Ave- 
nue was dedicated in 1901." 



"Judge A. F. Howes started the movement, in 
1870, to build the first public school building erected 
in Fort Collins. It was a small frame building and 
stood on Riverside avenue near the corner of Peter- 
son street. It has since been converted into a dwell- 
ing house and is occupied as such. It cost about 
$1,100, and Augustine Mason's school tax that year 
was $165.25. The district was immediately after- 
wards divided and Mr. Mason was placed in Dis- 
trict No. 11. Although he had helped to build the 
new school house, he had to pay $3 a week for the 
privilege of sending his child to the Fort Collins 
public school. Mr. Mason brought the first shoe- 
maker to Fort Collins. His name was "Johnny" 
Theobald, whom Mr. Mason found in Denver on 
his uppers and in debt. A few months after locat- 
ing in Fort Collins, Theobald paid off all his debts 
and continued at work here for several years." 



"The late Joseph Mason and the late F. W. Sher- 
wood were warm personal friends and each trusted 
the other to the fullest extent. In the early days 
they engaged in the stock business together, buying 
and selling horses and cattle. There were no ar- 
ticles of agreement in writing between them — only 
an understanding that each should share in the 
profits of their transactions, which they divided from 
time to time. Mr. Mason did most of the buying 
and selling and Mr. Sherwood kept the accounts 
as rendered by -the former. This was continued for 
several years, and when they concluded to dissolve 
partnership, the books showed that Mr. Mason 
was indebted to Mr. Sherwood, as the latter's share 
of the profits, in the sum of $6,250.50. 'All right,' 
said Mason, 'Here is a check for $6,250, but I'll 
see you hanged before I'll ever pay the fifty cents.' 
It was thus that an account running for several 
years and involving the handling of tens of thou- 
sands of dollars, was settled by these two pioneers, 
whose faith in the honor and integrity of each other 
was unbounded. They had large contracts for sup- 
plying the Government with beef cattle and horses 
at Fort Laramie and other military posts, and every 
penny of the receipts was religiously accounted for 
in the settlement." 

[92] 



A Reminiscence 

In 1868, Dr. W. R. Thomas, Professor of His- 
tory and Irrigation Law at the Colorado State Ag- 
gicultural College, traversed the Cache la Poudre 
valley on horseback in the interest of the Rocky 
Mountain News. Twenty-five years later he again 
visited the valley, this time traveling by rail, and 
in a letter published in the Rocky Mountain News 
of December 28, 1893, he indulged in the following 
reminiscence : 

"Broad and beautiful is the valley of the Cache 
la Poudre." I recall the sentence written just 
twenty-five years ago for the NewSj and as I rode 
along the valley the other day in one of the elegant 
coaches of the Union Pacific train, I also recalled 
the first ride I ever made along the banks of the 
famous and historic stream. The Cache la Poudre 
then marked the line of Colorado's northern frontier 
settlement. The danger of Indian raids still threat- 
ened the valley. The old California trail, along 
which the Mormons had marched to Utah, over 
which the forty-niners had made their way to Cal- 
ifornia, which had been tramped by the columns 
of Albert Sidney Johnston in his expedition against 
Brigham Young, and which had been traveled by 
the fleet riders of the Pony express and the stage 
coaches of the Overland line, was still broad and 
well defined. There was but one family living be- 
tween old Latham station on the Platte and Ben 
Eaton's ranch on the Cache la Poudre. A few miles 
further up the stream was the ranch of Uncle Jesse 
Sherwood. Fort Collins had just been abandoned as 
a military post and consisted of half a dozen adobe 
and log buildings. Laporte, where Col. Bill Taylor 
kept the stage station, was the most important point 
in the valley, and was a primitive frontier trading 
point. Thus in the mellow sunshine of a late 
autumn day I saw the broad acres of the valley, 
sloping gradually to the beautiful stream, whose 
course from the mountains to the Platte was marked 
by groves of cottonwood. The hardy pioneer had 
just entered into possession of this valley, and before 
it was a future grand with industrial possibilities. 
That future has been realized. There is today no 
more prosperous, enterprising, energetic or intelli- 
gent community in all Colorado than that which 
claims the Cache la Poudre valley as its home." 

General Grant's Dinner at Laporte 

In July, 1868, General Grant, who had been 
nominated for the presidency, accompanied by Gen. 
W. T. Sherman and Fredrick T. Dent, visited Den- 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



ver, coming West by stage via the Smoky Hill 
route. After visiting the mines at Central City and 
Georgetown, the party returned East via U. P. 
from Cheyenne, passing through this county on the 
stage and taking dinner at Laporte. The late Wil- 
liam S. Taylor kept the hotel at Laporte and had 
the honor of entertaining the distinguished visitors. 
He had been notified of their coming by telegraph 
and prepared them one of the famous dinners 
for w^hich Mrs. Taylor was noted far and wide. 
Travelers by the Overland stage were always sure 
of a cordial greeting by Mr. and Mrs. Taylor and 
the best meal served by anyone on the entire line. 

John G. Coy's Indian Scare 

Mr. Coy came from the State of New York to 
the Cache la Poudre valley in the fall of 1862, and 
located on land he still owns and occupies adjoining 
the eastern limits of Fort Collins. When he settled 
here the houses and residences in the valley were 
few and far between. There was a house on what 
was later known as the Barry place, occupied by 
Capt. C. C. Hawley's family; a house on Judge 
Howes' place, and one just across the road, occupied 
by G. R. Strauss ; Tod Randall had a cabin on what 
is now the Slockett place. These were all on the 
north side of the river. On the south side of the 
river there was but one small, unoccupied cabin be- 
tween the Sherwood place, four miles down the 
stream, and the Joseph Mason place, about a mile 
up the stream from what is now Fort Collins. 
Though there were plenty of Indians here at that 
time, he never had any trouble with them, as they 
did not molest him nor his property. 

He did get a bad scare one time from what he 
supposed were Indians, and came very near blowing 
the head from off a white man. And this is how 
it occurred: In the fall of 1870 he went to Chey- 
enne with a load of vearetables, loading back with 
merchandise for Stover & Matthews. A few days 
before this a soldier had been killed and scalped 
near what is now known as Indian Springs, on the 
Cheyenne road. The soldier and his comrade had 
been out on a scout and the two had camped for 
the night near the springs. During the night their 
horses had broken their lariats and strayed away 
and in the morning the two men started out to look 
for them, each in a different direction. It was not 
long until one of them heard a shot, and, supposing 
his comrade had found the horses, he turned about 
and went in the direction whence the sound of the 
explosion had come. In a short time he came upon 



the dead, scalped and mutilated body of his com- 
rade. He had found the horses and was returning 
to the camp with them when killed ; the Indians 
had stripped him of his clothing and gotten away 
with the horses. 

Mr. Coy always carried a carbine with him, and 
thinking of' the fate of the soldier, kept a sharp 
watch for Indian signs. On passing Indian Springs 
he saw the edge of a blanket waving in the wind 
next to the bank of a deep creek-wash. Looking 
closer, he saw what appeared to his excited imag- 
ination like three heads beneath the blanket. He 
knew there was no use in attempting to turn his 
team and fleeing, for he believed the parties under 
the blanket had been lying in wait for him, so under 
the strain of a good deal of excitement, he got out 
his gun, jumped down from his load, determined 
to sell his life as dearly as possible. In his excite- 
ment and while his heart was pounding like a trip- 
hammer, a shell he was trying to slip into the gun 
got lodged in the magazine and he thought his time 
had surely come. He continued working away to 
get his gun in condition for execution and at last 
succeeded in getting the shell into place. With that, 
he stepped from behind his wagon and drew a bead 
on the central head, giving at the same time a yell 
that might have been heard for a long distance. 
Immediately there came a responsive yell that cur- 
dled Mr. Coy's blood; the blanket flew back and 
exposed the head of a white man. The stranger 
was a German, on his way to Cheyenne, and the 
day being cold and blustery, he had gotten down 
against the bank and drawn the blanket over his 
head to shield himself from the wind. Hearing a 
team coming, he had raised the blanket on each side 
of his head with his hands, making it look as if there 
were three heads under it. Greatly relieved, Mr. 
Coy drove on, congratulating himself on his nar- 
row escaoe from killing the German. Just before 
reaching home he met Peter Anderson, to whom he 
related his adventure. Mr. Anderson replied, 
"That's the fellow who stole my blanket and re- 
volver." Mr. Anderson jumped onto a horse and 
took the trail in search of the man, whom he found 
in camp at Maynard Flats. After recovering his 
property and scaring the fellow almost out of his 
wits with threats of sending the sherifif after him, 
he returned to his home, having ridden all night. 

Indian Burials 

"S. H. Southard," said the Greeley Tribune, in 
May, 1900, "lived at Laporte for some time in the 



[93] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



early sixties and had a very stirring experience. 
Musgrove, the all-round-bad-man and horse thief, 
who was finally hanged in Denver, had his head- 
quarters at Laporte. He and his gang had a way 
of stealing horses and mules and selling them, and 
then, later, acting as detectives and hunting up the 
animals for a consideration, thus making money 
both ways. At that time there were many Indians 
at Laporte. They had a curious way of disposing 
of their dead. Scaffolding was placed in the tops 
of large Cottonwood trees and the dead placed one 
on each of them, and as buffaloes were plentiful in 
those days, the corpse was generally inclosed in a 
buffalo skin. Many of us old settlers who jour- 
neyed up the Poudre to the mountains in the early 
seventies saw some of the remains of these 'burials 
in tree tops.' " 

In this connection. Attorney L. R. Rhodes of 
Fort Collins relates an incident regarding the Indian 
burial place near Laporte, with which he was per- 
sonally cognizant, as follows: 

"In 1872 there was being run down the Cache 
la Poudre river a large drive of logs, which were 
sawed up into lumber at Greeley. I was working 
on this drive, and from the first day of July to the 
first of August, the logs were driven from the Pou- 
dre canon to a point about opposite the present 
town of Windsor. 

"One night, about dark, a young man by the name 
of Carrington, and myself were passing through a 
grove of Cottonwood just above Bingham hill. We 
noticed that in several large cottonwood trees some 
fifteen or twenty feet from the ground, there had 
been poles laid from one limb to another, and there 
was something that looked like a sack or bag resting 
on these poles. We had no idea what this meant. 
Carrington climbed one of the trees and attempted 
to loosen the poles so as to let the bundle drop to 
the ground. He succeeded, and without much 
trouble the bundle came tumbling down and proved 
to be the body of a dead Indian, wrapped in a buf- 
falo robe and blankets. Inclosed within the buffalo 
robe were bows and arrows and various other Indian 
implements. 

"We went on into camp and the next morning in 
some manner the squaw men living at Laporte 
learned of the Indian having been disturbed. There 
was great excitement and threats were made to deal 
summarily with young Carrington. Carrington left 
the drive that morning and I have never heard of 
him since." 

[94] 



Frontier Justice 

On the 4th of July, 1879, the people of Fort 
Collins and vicinity held a celebration in a grove 
on the north side of the river. There was music, 
marching and speaking, the exercises of the day 
winding up with a fine display of fireworks, the first 
ever seen in Fort Collins. 

Late in the afternoon three of Governor Eaton's 
ditch builders at work on the Larimer & Weld 
canal, then in course of construction, came into 
town and proceeded to fill themselves up with 
booze. Along in the early evening hours they began 
to be boisterous and disposed to make themselves de- 
cidedly disagreeable with their loud talk and swag- 
gering ways. At last one of them, a young fellow, 
stole one of the paper balloons and pulling it down 
over his head, strutted around with it on in the form 
of a petticoat. This, the crowd thought, was 'car- 
rying the joke a little too far, so Sheriff Sweeney 
and Billy Morgan, who was town marshal, took 
the three obnoxious fellows into custody. 

There was no magistrate in town that day and 
no cooler and no county jail in which to confine the 
prisoners, and the officers were at a loss to know 
what to do with them. At last it occurred to Billy 
Morgan that Frank Stover was a town trustee, 
and if he didn''t have authority to try, convict and 
sentence for infraction of the peace in emergency 
cases, he ought to have, therefore making a virtue 
of necessity, which knows no law, the culprits were 
taken before Mr. Stover to be disposed of as he 
saw fit. Not having room in his store, which then 
occupied a small room in the Yo.unt bank building, 
he adjourned court to the street, using a barrel 
standing on end for a desk. Mr. Stover assumed a 
magisterial air and proceeded to arraign the accused 
on the charge brought against them. The young 
fellows, who were tenderfeet, by the way, and un- 
familiar with wild, western ways for dealing out 
justice, except from hearsay, began to sober off and 
to think their days were numbered. They could see 
no mercy in the face of the court and no pity in the 
surroundng crowd. Visions of their lifeless tender- 
feet swaying in the breeze from the limb of a cotton- 
wood tree swept over them and they wilted. They 
pleaded guilty and threw themselves upon the mercy 
of the court, beseeching him to spare their lives and 
promising to leave town immediately and give no 
further trouble if he did so. After a short lecture, 
in which the court admonished them to forsake their 
evil ways and the cup that inebriated, the court 
imposed upon them a fine of $5.00 and costs. They 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY 



COLORADO 



could only scare up $1.35 between them, which the 
court accepted, the tender-hearted sheriff and mar- 
shal agreeing to donate their fees. The prisoners 
were then discharged and only hit the high places in 
their hurry to get out of town. The interrupted 
celebration was soon after brought to a close in a 
blaze of glory. 

A Peace Council With the Utes 

In September, 1865, Territorial Governor, John 
Evans, held a peace council with the Southern Utes 
at Fort Garland in the San Luis valley, to settle 
the troubles between the Indians and the Mexican 
population, and a peace was then concluded by a 
mutual indemnity. A battalion of the 21st New 
York cavalry, then stationed at Camp Collins, ac- 
companied Governor Evans on this expedition as 
escort. Among the officers in command of the bat- 
talion were Capt. Farrar, Lieutenant Franklin, 
Lieutenant John H. Mandeville and Lieutenant 
George E. Buss. The trip he took on the occasion 
is one of Mr. Mandeville's most pleasant recollec- 
tions and he enjoys relating incidents connected 
therewith. Governor Evans took along thirteen 
wagons heavily laden with gifts for the Indians. 
One wagon was loaded exclusively with navy to- 
bacco, the plugs being a foot in length. There was 
also a great quantity of other articles intended to 
please the fancy and propitiate the fierce spirit of 
the redmen. Arriving at Fort Garland, the council 
was called and the Indians came in from all direc- 
tions with their squaws and papooses. Ouray was 
the head chief of the Utes. Colorow joined the ex- 
pedition at Denver and proceeded a part of the way 
with it. When the Indians got ready to talk they 
formed in circles, one within another, the head chief 
and his staff taking the outside circle and the others 
the inner, according to rank. In the center sat 
Governor Evans and his attendants. Major Head, 
who was the Indian agent, acted as interpreter. 
Lieutenant Mandeville had a seat near the gov- 
ernor and before the talk opened Mr. Mandeville, 
at the governor's request, procured a good sized 
piece of pine board. When everything was ready 
for the talk to proceed, the governor drew from 
his pocket a keen edged clasp knife and began to 
whittle long, clean shavings from the pine board. 
As he talked he whittled and before the council 
came to an end, he had whittled away several pieces 
of board. Chief Ouray's talk was mild and digni- 
fied. He had visited Washington and knew some- 
thing of the strength and power of the Government 



and he favored peace and the signing of a treaty. 
Colorow, however, scored the whites unmercifully 
and bitterly complained of the treatment the Indians 
had received at their hands. As he warmed up to 
the subject, he moved round and round in his allot- 
ted circle, but the other speakers who were less ex- 
citable, stood like statutes when speaking. 

The object of the council was accomplished and a 
treaty of peace between Ouray and Governor Evans 
was ratified. The Utes relinquished all their claims 
to the San Luis valley and mountains and that por- 
tion of the territory west of the Rocky mountains 
in which settlements had already been made. From 
this time there were no serious troubles between the 
Colorado Utes and the white population. Ouray 
always remained a friend of the whites and was 
made much of by Maj. Head. Governor Evans ap- 
pointed him interpreter at the Conejos agency at a 
salary of $500.00 a year. The old chief died in 
1880. 

At the close of the council, the gifts brought by 
Governor Evans were distributed. They were 
passed out to the respective chiefs who in turn 
divided them among their people. Later the Indians 
had a feast, adding many of the provisions presented 
to them by Evans to their own store and indulged in 
a regular gorge. In the evening they held a dance 
which was attended by officers of the batallion. At 
one point in the dance, as the officers stood in a 
group watching the performance, the dusky dancers, 
highly painted up and chanting one of their wierd 
songs, circled around the guests and finally en- 
tirely surrounded them. When the officers mani- 
fested no little surprise at this proceeding, the 
Indians broke out into a hearty laugh at the joke 
they had played on the white men. 

A Soldier's Recollection of Fort 
Collins 

An interesting letter received recently by John G. 
Coy, tells of the old days in Fort Collins when 
"Aunty" Stone sold milk at fifty cents a quart, 
butter at a dollar and a half a pound, and propor- 
tinate prices were paid for all the necessities of life. 
The writer is at present living in Oswego, New 
York, of which town he is a native, and the writing 
of the letter is the culmination of a series of most 
interesting circumstances which are set out in the 
document. The letter reads as follows: 
"Mr. John Coy. 

"Dear Sir: You will be surprised at receiving a 
letter from Oswego, from a man you don't know, 

[95] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



so I will tell you how this came about. I am store- 
keeper for the Government in Oswego and the 
building is only a block from where your brother, 
Ben, lives. He comes down and visits me. We 
were talking one day about the western country. I 
told him how far west I had been and mentioned 
Fort Collins and then Camp Collins. 'Why', Ben 
says, 'I have been there twice or three times and I 
have a brother living there now who has been there 
since 1863, I think, and I get the Courier every 
week.' This took place about a year ago. Ben said 
he would go to the house and bring down one, so he 
did and has continued letting me have one when- 
ever there is anything in them he thinks would in- 
terest me ; and would you believe it, I am as much 
interested in them as I am in our local paper So 
about a year ago I wrote the editor of the Courier, 
giving him a sketch of the days when I was in and 
about Fort Collins. I was a member of the 21st New 
York cavalry, stationed at Fort Collins from 1865 
to 1866, and if you were there in 1863-64, why 
you know about the 21st cavalry. 

"Well, Ben said you lived down the river from 
Collins. One day, three or four of us Oswego 
boys took a stroll down the river, oh, a mile and a 
half or so. We came to a frame house and if I 
remember rightly it hadn't been built very long. 
We saw some milk pans out drying, so some of 
us boys says, 'let's have some milk.' We went 
in. This was in the afternoon. There was a 
woman and a couple of girls in the house and we 
asked them to sell us some milk. They said they 
didn't like to disturb the milk after it was set, so 
we said we would buy the whole pan full and pay 
whatever they thought it was worth. At this stage 
of the game, the man came in and we got to talk- 
ing, and finally, he asked us what state we were 
from. We said Oswego, New York. 'Why', he 
said, is that so? I am from Oswego." He asked 
us if we knew Fitchne and Littlejohn and some other 
early settlers of Oswego. We had all the milk we 
wanted to drink and he wouldn't accept any pay for 
it and wanted us to come down often, as he liked to 
talk to us. There was another house across the 
river from Collins, built that spring or the year be- 
fore. Then I wondered what anyone wanted to 
come out in that God-forsaken country and build a 
house with the intention of staying there. I 
wouldn't have stayed there for all Fort Collins and 
all the buildings in sight. 

"While out there we went as far as Fort Bridger. 
We left Fort Leavenworth July 22, 1865, struck the 
Platte river at Fort Kearney, then up the river to 

[96] 



Denver and from there to Fort Collins to a post 
then called Virginia Dale, Little Laramie, Big 
Laramie, Cheyenne and on to Bridger. We were 
guarding the U. S. mail, which was carried by stage. 
We left Fort Collins the latter part of June, 1866, 
and glad we were to get away from there. It used 
to take a month to get a letter from home. 

"A man by the name of Mason built a concrete 
store at Collins just before we got there and Mrs. 
Stone's little home was only a little ways from it. 
I bought bread, pies, and milk from her; 50 cents 
per quart for milk, $1.50 for a pound of butter. I 
forgot what we did pay for bread. We paid Mason 
25 cents for a small glass of beer, $3.00 for a pint 
of whiskey. I once paid $1.50 for 13 apples. Who 
would want to live out there ? No work going on ; 
why one would have to live on prairie dogs and 
rattlesnakes in order to get along. 

"Now I see Fort Collins has a population of 
8,000 or 9,000, and I saw a picture of all your 
public buildings. They are fine, and were I able 
to stand the expenses of going out there on a visit, 
I certainly would go. The winter I was in Collins, 
there was about three or four inches of snow. Some 
of the officers built sleighs out of old boards and 
had a sleigh ride. It only lasted a few days. I 
could tell quite a lot of things that went on during 
the year I was on the Plains (that's what we used 
to call it) ; so, wishing you and your family and all 
the people of Fort Collins a prosperous future, I am 
Most respectfully, 

Patrick Glynn, 
127 E. Albany St., Oswego, N. Y." 

An Early Day Election 

An election was held in Larimer county in Sep- 
tember, 1868, and James S. Arthur, F. W. Sher- 
wood and John Arthur were appointed to register 
the names of all persons entitled to vote at that elec- 
tion. The board met on the 18th day of August 
and was sworn in by J. M. Sherwood, probate 
judge. The board proceeded to register the names 
of the following voters: James B. Arthur, James 
S. Arthur, John Arthur, Andrew Ames, Joshua 
Ames, Geo. E. Buss, Philander Bradley, N. P. 

Cooper, Fritz Cooper, Cowles, Thomas 

Cline, A. R. Chaffee, David Davis, John Davis, 
Ebenezer Davis, Simon Duncan, John B. Decsgin, 
Thomas Earnest, James Earnest, Paul Flick, 
Charles George, Stephen George, Lewis Haskell, 
James Hall, Claiborne Howell, John Henderson, 
Ira Henderson, Jam.es Israel, Joshua P. Johnson, 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Michael Jones, Revilo Loveland, Isaac Loveland, 
John Lucy, Herman Manner, John Malsby, C. J. 
McDivitt, Michael Norton, Jerry Olney, Joseph 
Prendergast, Allen Packer, Edward Rogers, Jesse 
M. Sherwood, F. W. Sherwood, A. H. Stearns, 
Robert Strauss, Elias Smith, Sidney Stone, Paul 
Thorpe, Rufus Wygal. 

The registration book does not show what the 
election was to be held for, nor the names of per- 
sons to be voted for, but it was probably a general 
election as the book also contains the names of voters 
registered for an election held August 23rd, 1869 
and August 24th, 1870. The board of registration 
for 1870 was composed of Thos. A. McCrystal, 
Joseph Prendergast and John Arthur. Those named 
for the board in 1869 are not given in this old book, 
though it contains the names of persons registered 
for an election held in 1869. The book was found 
by Deputy Sheriff Pindell in some old papers that 
had found lodgment in the sheriff's office and, so 
far as I have been able to find out, is the only 
record in existence pertaining to elections held in 
Larimer county between the years 1866 and 1878. 
As will be seen it contains the names of 49 persons 
entitled to vote in 1868. The precinct included all 
the territory lying east of the Coy farm to the 
county line and north of the Big Thompson divide 
to the north line of the Territory. 

A Woman Starts a New Industry 

The first commercial cheese and, perhaps the first 
of any' kind, except cottage cheese, manufactured 
in Larimer county was made by Mrs. George E. 
Buss in 1886, on the Buss farm near Timnath. 
She had been reared on a farm and had seen and 
helped her mother make cheese and knew how it 
was done. Her facilities at the start were of the 
crudest kind. The hoop was hollowed out of a por- 
tion of a Cottonwood tree and the press was con- 
structed out of the remnants of an old grain reap- 
ing machine, the tongue being used for the weighted 
lever. Notwithstanding her lack of up-to-date 
facilities and appliances, she made a number one 
article of cheese and it found a ready sale in Fort 
Collins and in the surrounding country. For qual- 
ity, it beat the imported article all to pieces and was 
in great demand. The following year, encouraged 
by her success, Mrs. Buss obtained some galvanized 
iron cheese hoops and engaged more extensively 
in cheese making, turning out that year 7,000 pounds 
of first-class cream cheese. This, too, sold readily at 
good prices, Mrs. Buss realizing a nice little sum in 



the way of profit. That year (1887) a creamery 
was built at Fort Collins at which cheese was also 
made, but Mrs. Buss' cheese was so much superior 
to that made at the factory that there was no sale 
for the latter. The owner and manager of the 
factory called on that lady and tried to induce her 
to quit the business or else to market her cheese in 
Greeley and Eaton, saying that the competition was 
injuring his business. Mrs. Buss calmly told him 
that she had a good home market for all the cheese 
she could make and that she saw no reason why she 
should be at the extra expense of sending her prod- 
uct to other markets; that, if he was not satisfied 
with his market, he had a perfect right to hunt up 
a better one. This ended the conversation. 

The labor involved in making so much cheese 
finally began to tell upon her strength and she had 
to give up the business, not, however, until she had 
demonstrated that cheese equal to the best New 
York or Wisconsin cheese could be made in Colo- 
rado. In 1889 Mr. and Mrs. Buss sold their farm 
and moved to Fort Collins which has since been 
her home. Her husband, Capt. Buss a gallant 
soldier of the 21st New York cavalry, which was 
stationed here in 1865-6, died in 1908. 

Beginning of Newspaper History in 
Larimer County 

The appended letter from William W. Sullivan, 
a Larimer county pioneer, and for many years an 
esteemed resident and business man of Fort Collins, 
contains so much of the flavor of pioneer days, and 
details so many incidents connected with the history 
of Fort Collins, that I am not called upon to offer 
any apologies for its appearance in the History of 
Larimer County. 

Mr. Sullivan, from September 1st, 1886 to Feb- 
ruary 16, 1899, was principal owner and business 
manager of the Fort Collins Courier, of which the 
writer was, and still is, editor. His letter follows : 

"Los Angeles, Calif., Sept. 6, 1910. 
1319 S. Hope Street. 
Dear Friend Watrous : 

I read with much interest the early trials of Hon. 
W. C. Stover in a recent issue of the Courier. It 
is such incidents as these that decide a man's metal 
and, in Mr. Stover's case, proved that it was a man 
who had met reverses, and overcome them. It was 
as natural for Mr. Stover to become one of the lead- 
ing personalities in the development of the great 
West as it is for the sun to rise in the morning. 

[97] 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER COUNTY 



COLORADO 



We all had our trials in those days, even news- 
paper men coming in for a full share. In the fall and 
early winter of 1869, I was freighting from Chey- 
enne to Central City. I then figured that in the fut- 
ure a city would rise at some point on the Poudre, 
and calculated that it would naturally be where 
Fort Collins now stands. Having worked as"devil" 
on the Central City Register for two years, 1864- 
1866, my thoughts naturally turned to establishing 
a newspaper; so it was the dream of my early man- 
hood to found the first newspaper in Larimer 
county. In the winter of 1869-70 I attended 
Jarvis Hall at Golden, setting type at odd hours 
for the late Capt. George West on the Transcript. 
After the school term was over I continued as 
compositor on the Transcript until I had served 
the three years then necessary to entitle me to become 
a member of the Typographical Union. From 
Golden I went to Denver and became a member 
of the Denver Typographical Union No. 49. Here 
I set type on the different dailies for a long time as 
"sub", but finally got regular cases on the News. 
Things went well for a while until I had the temer- 
ity to oppose my own foreman in the election of 
officers in the union. He was a candidate for presi- 
dent and I opposed his election on the ground that 
a foreman should not hold that office. He resented 
by discharging me and, in 1872, I started on a regu- 
lar printer's tramp east, and did not return for a 
year. When I returned J. S. McClelland had es- 
tablished the first paper in Larimer county, and 
dream No. 1 was blasted. 

A short time afterwards Clark Boughton estab- 
lished the second paper, the Standard. General 
Cameron had established a colony at Fort Collins 
and another town had sprung up. The fight was on 
between the old and the new town, and it was very 
bitter. The Standard was published in the new 
town, about where the Fort Collins National 
National Bank building is now located. J. S. 
McClelland had built his printing office about where 
the Masonic Temple is located. The Standard was 
frankly the "organ" of the colony, and as such could 
look for scant support from the old town. This 
was the situation when I bought a half interest with 
Clark Boughton in the Standard, in the spring of 
1874. Our partnership did not last long, however, 
Clark fell ill with inflammatory rhumatism, and his 
attending physician. Dr. Smith, informed me that 
he was worrying over the paper, and asked me to 
allow Rev. Myrick to buy his interest. I did not 
believe we could make a living publishing the 
Standard unless both parties were printers, and told 



Mr. Myrick so. He was getting a small income as 
pastor of a very small church at the time, and he 
suggested that he would edit the paper and his son 
Herbert and myself could do the mechanical work 
and we would share equally in the profits or the 
losses of the business. On these terras we entered 
into a partnership for a year's time. Herbert proved 
an apt pupil at the business, and in a remarkably 
short time, became an expert compositor. By 
exercising the strictest economy we were able to 
make a bare living. Mr. Myrick and Herbert 
batched. Frank Avery allowed me to room with 
him back of his office free of expense, and for a long 
time we batched in a little 10 x 12 shack. It was 
summer time and fearfully hot to go there and cook 
and eat meals, and the height of my ambition was to 
get in position to board. But I could not figure 
that I could afFord it. Finally I made a trade with 
the late Captain Coon. I had become the possessor 
of a lot through work for the Colony, the one on 
which the late Jacob Welch built his stone resi- 
dence. This I traded for board at the Agricultural 
hotel, being allowed one half of my board each week 
in payment on the purchase price of $150 for the 
lot, paying the other half in cash. These were 
the years of the grasshopper invasion and we were 
barely living, and had no profit for labor or invest- 
ment. 

Herbert thought he could manage the mechanical 
department with the aid of a boy, so I leased my in- 
terest to Mr. Myrick and started for the Black 
Hills in March, 1876. The grasshoppers came 
again and the Standard could not live, so Mr. 
Myrick suspended its publication. Like Mr. 
Stover's trials, the vicisitudes of the Standard bore 
its fruits. They developed the man in Herbert 
Myrick, and he is one of the most successful pub- 
lishers in the United States today. 

At one time I had a prospect of continuing the 
publication of the Standard, and if my plans had 
not failed probably the newspaper history of Lari- 
mer county would have read quite different. Dr. 
Smith and W. B. Osborn were candidates for 
county treasurer, the doctor being successful. He 
declined to qualify, and the commisioners tendered 
the appointment to the late J. J. Ryan. He lived on 
the Thompson at the time and did not care to move 
to Fort Collins. He made me the proposition that 
he would appoint me his deputy and I could receive 
the taxes at Fort Collins and he would collect on 
the Thompson, each of us receiving the commissions 
for his collections. This would have given me 
about $450 per year and enabled me to continue in 



[98] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



the publication of the Standard. But Mr. Osborn 
proposed to the commissioners that he would collect 
all the taxes for $250 per j'ear, and the commis- 
sioners, my father being a member of the board at 
that time, appointed him at his price. But who 
shall say it was not for the best? Had the Stand- 
ard continued, the Courier would probably never 
have been established, and Ansel Watrous would 
probably never have entered the business in Larimer 
county. W. W. Sullivan."' 

Deceived Lover Kills Himself 

On July 24th, 1879, a tragedy, resulting from 
deceit and disappointment in love, occurred at Pine 
Ridge agency in which William and John Provost, 
sons of John B. Provost of Laporte, figured as prin- 
cipals. The young men were both born and reared' 
at Laporte and were well known to all of the 
pioneers of the valley. Their mother was an Indian 
woman and when she returned to her tribe at Pine 
Ridge agency in 1878, the boys went with her and 
John, who had received a. smattering of an educa- 
tion in English and could speak that as well as his 
native tongue, was employed at the agency as inter- 
preter. The unfortunate affair brought trouble 
and sorrow upon the father of the two boys, who 
resided at Laporte. 

The particulars of the unfortunate affair, caused 
by love, jealousy and revenge, were published in the 
Fort Collins Courier as follows: "The two brothers, 
Billy and Johnny Provost, employed at the agency, 
the former stock superintendent, became enamored of 
a beautiful Indian girl named Soeteiva (Little 
Bird), daughter of Eagle Wing, a sub-chief in Red 
Cloud's band of Sioux. Before giving his consent, 
as is the custom among Indians, Eagle Wing de- 
manded a horse as the prize of his daughter's hand 
in marriage. Billy Provost not having a horse to 
give, consulted an Indian, who gave him a horse as 
his own which in reality, however, belonged to a 
man named Clement Bernard, who, unknown to 
Billy, was also suing for the affections of the dusky 
maiden. Following the Indian's advice, Billy took 
the animal and delivered it to Eagle Wing, and was 
about to take his prize when Bernard appeared on 
the scene, claiming his property and putting a stop 
to further ceremonies. Provost, after finding out 
that he had been deceived, and being ejected from 
the lodge by the chief, seized with grief and re- 
morse, placed a pistol to his head and blew his 
brains out. 



John Provost, the interpreter, on learning of his 
brother's suicide, sought out the Indian who be- 
trayed his brother and Bernard his rival, intending 
to kill them. Finding both in the agent's office, he 
deliberately and without warning opened fire on 
them, killing Bernard. Several Mexicans, country- 
men of the murdered man, surrounded the mur- 
derer, and would have lynched him had it not been 
for the prompt action of Dr. McGillicuddy, the 
Indian agent, who sent young Provost under a guard 
of Indian soldiers to the military guardhouse at 
Camp Sheridan to be held pending a trial for mur- 
der by the civil authorities. The trial came off in 
due time and John was acquitted. The latest news 
from him is to the effect that he is living in Michi- 
gan and not troubled by regrets over avenging the 
untimely death of his brother William. 

Sufferings of Soldiers During a Win- 
ter's March on the Plains 

The following story of the intense suffering ex- 
perienced by Captain James W. Hanna's troop of 
soldiers in a march from Fort Laramie to Fort Col- 
lins in January, 1865, was told a Denver News re- 
porter by an old frontier soldier, and published in 
that paper in February, 1892. As it relates to in- 
cidents connected with the early settlement of the 
Cache la Poudre valley and gives a graphic descrip- 
tion of that early march and the fight for life the 
troopers had with the elements, I reproduce the 
story in full : 

"It was in January, 1865, when Captain J. W. 
Hanna, then commanding Company L, Eleventh 
Ohio cavalry, marched from Fort Laramie, under 
orders to proceed to Fort Collins, Colorado, to re- 
inforce Major W. H. Evans, who, with Company 
F of the Eleventh Ohio, held that then frontier 
outpost. At that time the white settlers of the 
Cache la Paudre were few and far between. There 
was a stage station at Laporte a few miles above 
Fort Collins. 

"It was a bright sunny January day when the 
seventy or eighty 'Buckeye boys', each clad in buck- 
skin, buffalo and beaver trappings, rode joyfully 
up the Laramie river bound for the settlement. 
That night they camped on the Chugwater and, over 
bright, blazing campfires, told over wellworn yarns 
and felicitated themselves upon once more seeing 
white girls and calico after their three years' exile 
among the Sioux in far-off Black Hills. That 
night as they lay snug and cozy amid the shelter- 
ing boxelder groves, a blanket of snow about a foot 



[99] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



thick was silently laid over them and their horses. 
Next morning as they resumed their march a gen- 
uine western blizzard set in and the mercury kept 
dropping all day. That night the boys, many of 
them sons of the best families of Ohio, nurtured in 
comfort and pernaps luxury, tasted the first bitter- 
ness of their terrible march. But they had abund- 
ance of wood, and if the wind whistled fiercely over 
the cheerless Plains, it did not trouble them down 
there in the valley of the 'Chug'. 

"It is true the boys suffered some as they lay 
upon the frozen earth, their beds banked round 
with snow; but there was little complaint and little 
sleep, for they dreaded the morrow. There was a 
four-days' march ahead of them over a treeless, life- 
less, wind-swept Plain, and a dark storm cloud hung 
over the hill. The next day the brave boys breasted 
the icy blasts silently and gloomily. The column 
kept well together, not because of fear of an Indian 
attack, but because of consciousness of unseen 
dangers. To straggle or laj behind meant death 
and a grave beneath the fast drifting snow. There 
were no trails or roads in those days, and not a 
house between Fort Laramie and Cache la Poudre. 
To fall behind was to die and become food for the 
wolves. So the column moved slowly amid the 
snow and keen-cutting blasts. 

"That night was a night of horrors. About 4 
o'clock in the afternoon they reached a depression 
in the apparently limitless Plains, the two wagons 
halted and camp was established to the windward. 
A few dead willows and weeds peeping above the 
snow, none of them thicker than a pencil, afforded 
the only source of fuel. With this cheerless pros- 
pect, amid a whistling, drifting storm of snow, 
Captain Hanna and his men prepared to spend the 
long, long night. A few of the more cheerful and 
enterprising troopers gathered weeds and willows, 
dug away a hole in the snow, sat down, built small 
fires sheltered by their extending legs, and with 
oyster cans cooked some coffee. Then the blankets 
and buffalo robes were spread upon the snow, the 
saddles were piled to break ofE the wind and dark- 
ness came slowly on. As for the horses they seemed 
to realize the desperate situation and, after hastily 
eating their corn, shivering with their tails toward 
the blast, they, one after another, laid down in their 
snowy beds. As they were well blanketed and the 
snow swiftly drifted over them, they were soon 
hidden beneath a snow bank with nothing visible 
except their heads. 

"The men laid in rows of ten or twelve in num- 
ber, feet to the wind ; the last man out was re- 



quired to bank up the snow over the bed and then 
crawl beneath the pile of bedding in the center of the 
row. He went in feet foremost, of course. That 
was a long, dreary night. Every half hour or so 
the command went forth from the sergeant in charge 
of each row; 'Ready, bo5's! Now s-p-o-o-n!' Then 
over went the row of soldiers and by this means 
they turned over in bed without letting in the cold 
air. Towards daylight the snow commenced to 
fall again. I was one of the first to rise (having 
charge of the commissary stores) and I shall never 
forget that cheerless night. The only sign of life 
to be seen was the two wagons, half hidden in snow, 
and the heads of sixty or seventy horses just above 
the snow. The presence of the soldiers was indi- 
cated by the little jets of steaming breath com.ing 
from beneath their blankets and robes. 

"Hard bread and frozen bacon was handed 
around, the shivering horses were fed and another 
long day's march commenced toward Colorado. 
The vitality of man and beast seemed to have been 
exhausted. The younger soldiers were freezing to 
death in their saddles. They seemed to be careless 
and indifferent, and, oh, so sleepy. Captain Hanna 
and his First Lieutenant, Swearingen, made details 
of soldiers to compel those who were dying to live 
awhile longer. The mode of procedure was this: 
When a soldier was seen to bow his head and in- 
dicated his desire to sleep, he was torn from his 
saddle and then supported by a comrade on each 
side, was forcibly pushed or run along the trail until 
animation was restored. As night again approached 
the half frozen expedition seemed to settle down 
into a state of lethargic despair. Horses exhausted, 
men cold, chilled to the bone, no wood, no shelter 
from the piercing blizzard, mercury down to thirty 
degrees below zero and no prospect of relief or 
shelter. Oh, for a fire or a cup of hot coffee. Oh, 
for even the shelter of a friendly bluff. No; there 
was nothing ahead but another long, cheerless night 
in the snow. 

"How that night passed will ever seem like a 
hideous dream in the recollection of the miserable 
survivors. Chilled, hungry, stiff and sore, the mem- 
bers of the expedition clustered together in the tree- 
less solitude not far from the present site of Chey- 
enne, Wyoming. The wintry storm showed no 
abatement and death stared the miserable volunteer 
soldiers in the face. Many had frozen feet, few were 
unfrostbitten, all seemed indifferent as to life. The 
horses seemed lifeless ; many had been abandoned to 
the mercies of the wolves, the remainder seemed 
resigned to an apparently inevitable fate. New life 



[100] 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER COUNTY 



COLORADO 



and courage were suddenly imparted to the despar- 
ing men by an order to unload the two government 
wagons, stack the stores in the form a windbreak 
and chop the wagons into firewood. 

"By clustering close together and keeping out the 
wind and snow with bufEalo robes, a fire was se- 
cured. Oh, what joy, what hope, what cheer, the 
light of a fire imparted, that bitter stormy night on 
the Plains. Then to have hot, strong, fragrant 
coffee, the first for two days and nights. How it 
braced the boys up for the long winter night. A 
dozen at least were crippled and helpless from frozen 
feet and hands. These were laid side by side and 
were banked over with snow, after being cheered 
with the warmth of a cup of coffee. Food was a 
secondary consideration ; heat was the vital neces- 
sity. Two fires were built and about these a circle 
was formed and robes and blankets spread over 
the shoulders of the crouching soldiers. Even then 
this living windbreak was insufficient to prevent 
the wind sweeping away the fire. Embers and ashes 
there were none — the storm swept all away. Men 
sat that night and saw their stockings burn upon 
their feet without feeling the pain of the fire, so 
cold were they and so benumbed their frozen limbs. 
But daylight came at last and with it the sun. Oh, 
what joy and cheer came up with that orb from be- 
yond the eastern snow banks. It brought to each 
a hope of life and a possible return sometime to the 
comforts of civilization. 

"More than half the command was found to be 
frosted and unable to walk. More than half the 
horses which left Fort Laramie a few days before 
in good condition were either dead or too weak to 
carry a rider. An early start was made, a long 
march was made. To halt meant death to all. 
Stores, arms and saddles had been stacked in the 
snow and abandoned. In the light marching order 
the column pushed on for the Cache la Poudre. The 
sight of the scattered cottonvi^oods upon that stream 
was a welcome sight to man and beast. It meant 
life and comfort. The expedition struck the Poudre 
valley about ten miles below Fort Collins, and be- 
fore noon the next day the demoralized column 
reached the little cluster of cabins called Fort Col- 
lins. Never did that beautiful valley appear more 
glorious and fascinating than it did that bright, 
keen, sunny morning in January, 1865, when Capt. 
J. W. Hanna's command made its first advent in 
Colorado. Most of the frosted men recovered the 
use of their limbs and performed good and gallant 
service the next summer with General Connor on 
his Tongue river expedition." 



The Captain J. W. Hanna mentioned in the fore- 
going narrative of exposure and suffering was a 
foster brother, of Alderman Thomas L. Moore of 
Fort Collins, and has often visited the scene of his 
experiences as a soldier in the Cache la Poudre 
valley. He was Speaker of the House of Repre- 
sentatives of the Colorado General Assembly in the 
winter of 1891. 

Indian Scare on Upper Boxelder 
and What Came of It 

Shortly after Isaac Adair and family settled on 
Upper Boxelder in 1875, the few scattered settlers 
of that district became greatly alarmed over a threat- 
ened raid by a marauding band of Sioux Indians. 
The story goes, and it is a true one, that the band of 
redskins swooped down to capture and run off a 
bunch of horses owned by a banker in Cheyenne, 
named Kent, which he had on the range near the set- 
tlement. They succeeded in running off a large num- 
ber of horses. Of course, the settlers were afraid the 
savages would return and made hasty preparations 
to give them a warm reception. 

Adair secured two rifles and two double barreled 
shot guns with which to repell the anticipated at- 
tack. A few days later, Mr. Adair and his hired 
man, Jacob McAffee, went to look after a pit of 
charcoal he had burning about a mile from the 
family cabin. They took the two rifles with them, 
leaving the shotguns with Mrs. Adair, charging her 
to keep them loaded and be on the lookout for 
Indians. The men had not been gone from the 
cabin more than two hours, when Mrs. Adair saw a 
band of horsem.en riding rapidly toward the cabin. 
They were so far away that she could not make out 
whether they were Indians or white men, but be- 
lieving they were Indians she ran into the cabin, 
barred the doors and windows, hastily loaded the 
shotguns, siezed a hatchet and was about to knock 
out some of the chinking between some of the logs 
to make loop holes through which to shoot, when the 
horsemen rode up to the cabin. She saw at once 
they were white men but did not recognize any of 
them. One of the men, who afterwards proved to 
be James A. Brown of Fort Collins, seeing that she 
was terribly excited and about to faint, said to her 
"What in the name of common sense is the matter 
witn you?" She replied with a stammering tongue, 
I-I th-th-thought you were Indians." The party 
proved to be cowboys on the round-up in charge 
of Mr. Brown and C. B. Mendenhall of Fort 
Collins. 



[101] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



When the excitement had somewhat subsided the 
cowboys examined the shotguns and found about 
one foot of powder and buckshot jammed into each 
barrel, which Mrs. Adair, in her fear and haste, 
thought was the proper charge for Indians. The 
charges were removed by fastening the butts of the 
guns against the axle of a wagon, cocking the guns 
and tying strings to the triggers of sufficient length 
to enable one to get out of the danger zone, and 
then by pulling the strings, the guns were discharged 
without doing much damage. The settlers were 
never troubled by Indians after that. 

Early Day Echoes 

If Harmon Mann's memory serves him right, it 
was about 1866 that the troops were withdrawn 
from the garrison at Fort Collins. Prior to that 
time they were maintained there to guard against 
any outbreak of the Indians of whom there were 
not a great many abiding in the country. As a rule, 
they were never contented to remain in one section, 
generally keeping on the move from one part of the 
country to another and it was never known when a 
whole tribe would swoop down upon the settlement 
from nobody knows where. 

After many annoyances from these Indians who 
did remain in these parts, the aid of the Government 
was invoked to put a stop to their depredations. 
Accordingly the Indians were ordered to stay at all 
times in sight of the garrison at Camp Collins if 
they chose to remain in the country at all. An 
open season was declared upon any Indian straying 
beyond a distance of four miles from the camp, and 
the whites were allowed to shoot any found out- 
side of that pale on sight, providing the Indian 
didn't see the white man and pull the trigger first. 

Mr. Mann recalls the thrilling experience of a 
lieutenant who went out one day hunting while 
this order was in effect. Seeing an Indian out on 
the bluffs hunting he decided to capture and march 
him into camp. Approaching the Indian he shoved 
a pistol in his face and ordered him to surrender. 
But the Indian was very athletic and quick with a 
gun. Before the lieutenant realized it, his gun 
was taken from him and the Indian was marching 
him to his wigwam. He was not harmed, but for 
a long time he had to bear the blunt of the joke that 
was turned so unexpectedly upon him. This same 
Indian afterwards proved himself a better man 
physically in many respects than some of the boast- 
ful soldiers. An officer who sneeringly remarked 
that he could outrun any Indian was laughed to 

[102] 



scorn by this fleet redskin, who ran the officer a race 
and performed the feat with a blanket wrapped 
about him. — Windsor Poudre Valley, February, 
1909. 

How Abner Loomis Lost a Mule 

The following interesting sketch of an early day 
incident appeared in the Loveland Reporter in 
January, 1887. I do not vouch for the truth of 
the story, but tell it as it was told in the Reporter, 
adding however that it bears the ear marks of truth. 
The man Musgrove was widely known in the early 
days as the head of a gang of horse thieves who in- 
fested the country along in the 60's, and who was 
hung in Denver in 1868 by a mob, for his misdeeds. 
As is told elsewhere in this book, Mr. Loomis had 
much to do with Musgrove's capture and final sur- 
render to the Denver authorities: 

"Few people knowing Ab. Loomis of Fort Col- 
lins," said the Reporter, "today would at all suspect 
that in the early days of Colorado, he was noted as 
a man of great courage and nerve, but such is the 
fact. Any of the old-timers hereabout remember 
the time when he was esteemed a bad man to fool 
with. He was never quarrelsome, nor would he 
in any way incite a row, but when a tough wanted 
to bully anybody he invariably passed Ab. Loomis 
as a man too dangerous for his business. Loomis 
was taken at a disadvantage at one time however. 
Everybody had heard of Musgrove, who had a 
gang of horse-thieves with headquarters in Poudre 
canon part of the time, and part of the time near 
St. Cloud. The story of how Musgrove become a 
horse thief and outlaw as told by his followers is to 
the effect that he wished to retaliate and get revenge 
for the way the United States government had 
used him. He used to own a train of freighting 
teams and at one time ventured among the Indians 
on the Laramie Plains. Government officials 
searched his wagons, and finding whiskey, confis- 
cated the whole train and threw Musgrove into 
the guardhouse. There he was compelled to per- 
form menial duties, such as cleaning the office 
quarters, emptying the spittoons and other dirty 
work. When he escaped from confinement he went 
into the business of stealing government property, 
particularly horses and mules, at every opportunity. 
He and his gang always claimed that they never 
took anything from private citizens, but the record 
is not exactly clear on this point. At any rate the 
gang was looked upon with suspicion by not only 
government officials but by the settlers as well. 
To arrest Musgrove and break up his gang if pos- 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



sible, a Deputy United States Marshal came from 
Denver, and while in search of evidence visited Mr. 
Loomis' ranch in Pleasant valley, going thence to 
Laporte where he went into the saloon and billiard 
hall kept by Ben. Claymore and John B. Provost, 
and called for a drink. The building that housed 
the saloon is now owned and occupied by Rowland 
Herring and family as a residence. 

Musgrove's gang were all in the saloon at the 
time playing billiards, and the walls were lined 
with shot guns and the chairs covered with pistols, 
belts, cartridges and other paraphernalia. The 
appearance of the saloon, its occupants and its 
equipments satisfied the deputy marshal that his 
company could be spared, so he quietly withdrew 
without waiting for his order for a drink to be 
filled. Mounting his horse the oflficer rode away 
towards Denver at top speed. 

Musgrove, hearing that the deputy m.arshal had 
visited Loomis, resolved that he, too, wanted to see 
Mr. Loomis. One morning, just after Mr. Loomis 
had hitched a fine mule that had cost him $250, to 
his gate post and was going into the house for 
breakfast, Musgrove rode up with his shotgun on 
the pommel of his saddle. Loomis invited him into 
breakfast, and the visitor raised in his saddle as if 
to dismount when the gun went off and shot the 
mule. Musgrove apologized, saying it was an acci- 
dent and that he would replace the animal with a 
government mule "that you can sell as easily as this 
one." At this, he rode ofE at full speed. Mr. 
Loomis' first impulse was to shoot the scoundrel, 
but he stopped to examine his mule and when he 
looked up Musgrove was out of sight. The fol- 
lowing year Mr. Loomis got even by laying a trap 
for Musgrove which resulted in his capture in 1868 
and subsequent hanging from Cherry Creek bridge 
in Denver. 

Demolishing a Frontier Relic 

The Fort Collins Courier of December 30, 1886, 
contained the following reminder of the days when 
the soldiers were stationed at Camp Collins, more 
than forty-five years ago: 

"The work of demolishing the only remaining 
relic of the days when the soldiers under Col. W. 
O. .Collins were the only inhabitants of this city, 
was begun this morning. The old log building 
standing on the alley back of the Tedmon house, 
the last one left of the half dozen or more erected 
by the soldiers of 1864 for winter quarters, is about 
to disappear. And with it disappears every vestige 



and sign of what was known as Camp Collins, ex- 
cept a lingering memory existing with a few old- 
timers. In August, 1864, Col. Collins of the 11th 
Ohio volunteer cavalry, Commander of the Dis- 
trict of the Platte, with headquarters at Fort 
Laramie, came to the Cache la Poudre valley in 
search of a location for a military post, and being 
pleased with the situation, established here a post 
thenceforward known from his name as Fort Col- 
lins. From that time until its abandonment for this 
use, from two to six companies of infantry and cav- 
alry were stationed here to curb the Indians and 
protect the Overland stages, the scanty settlements 
and the emigrants continually passing this way. 

"A military reservation, upon which Fort Collins 
now stands, was surveyed and set apart by the gov- 
ernment in 1864. Necessary buildings were put up 
for the accommodation of the officers and soldiers, 
and the nucleus of a settlement was thus formed. 
The building that Mr. James A. Brown is tearing 
down was one of these, and was occupied as officers' 
quarters. It is a one-story log building and stands 
facing Long's Peak. On the north end, close up 
under the gable, a rude balcony was constructed, 
containing just about space enough for one person. 
This used to be Col. Collins' favorite seat. It 
commanded a good view of the river, the valley and 
the bluffs beyond. On the departure of the soldiers 
in June, 1866, W. D. Hayes, now of Hastings, 
Mich., became the owner of the house and lot on 
which it stands. Mr. Hayes is well and kindly 
remembered by all the old-timers, all of whom were 
his warm friends. Mrs. Hayes is a sister of Mrs. 
A. J. Ames, with whom she spent several weeks in 
1885. Mr. Hayes sold the property in 1868 to 
James A. Brown, who still owns it. In this old 
house Mr. and Mrs. Brown first set up housekeep- 
ing, and here is where their first child was born. 
At that time Mr. Brown was interested with his 
brother, John R. Brown, in a blacksmith shop, 
which stood on the corner of Jefferson and Pine 
streets, across the street east of the old Grout 
livery stable." 

It was in this house that Agnes Mason (now 
Mrs. E. C. Gildings), the first white child born 
in Fort Collins, first saw the light of day, on the 
31st of October, 1867; and in this house, on the 
3Gth of December, 1866, was solemnized the mar- 
riage of Mr. Harris Stratton and Mrs. Elizazeth 
Keays, their's being the first wedding celebrated in 
Fort Collins. A good many tender memories cling 
to that old house of days that are gone never to re- 
turn, and of joys that are passed." 

[103] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Lynching of Musgrove 

In the early days the crime of horse stealing was 
considered almost, if not quite equal, in enormity 
to that of murder, and it is stated as a fact that 
more men suffered death for horse stealing than 
were executed for taking human life. A short 
shrift was given the horse thief when apprehended 
and the evidence of his guilt were deemed sufficient 
by Judge Lynch to justify death by hanging. Pos- 
session of stolen horses or mules was usually con- 
sidered good enough grounds for inflicting the 
death penalty and the execution promptly followed. 
Judge Lynch was inflexible in his rulings and there 
was no appeal when he pronounced sentence. 
While it is true that a number of men were put to 
death in the early days for this offense, it is not re- 
corded and not believed that any innocent persons 
suffered the death penalty at the hands of an out- 
raged, law-abiding community. In most cases the 
accused was given a hearing before a self- con- 
stituted tribunal of citizens and an opportunity to 
clear himself of the charge, but it oftentimes hap- 
pened that the horse thief was caught red-handed 
and launched before his Maker from the limb of 
the nearest Cottonwood tree or the cross-bar of a 
telegraph pole. While lynch law in a civilized 
community cannot be justified by any rule of right 
or reason, there seems to be no other satisfactory 
way for an unorganized community, without courts 
or officers of the law, to protect itself against the 
depredations of outlaws, brigands and desperadoes. 
It may, therefore, be said, with a semblance of 
justice, that the early settlers of Colorado were 
morally, at least, justified in resorting to extreme 
measures in defending themselves and their property 
from molestations by marauders and in appealing to 
lynch law as a means of ridding the country of un- 
desirable characters. Provisions and supplies for 
the early settlers had to be carried in wagons a dis- 
tance of six hundred miles, and if their teams were 
stolen en route or driven from ranches by thieves, 
they were placed at great disadvantage and often 
made to suffer the pangs of hunger or death from 
starvation. Hence a horse thief was looked upon as 
being but little if any better than a murderer. 

In the summer of 1868 a gang of robbers and 
horse thieves established a camp at Bonnar Springs, 
an almost inaccessible natural rock fortress, situated 
in the hills a short distance west of Owl canon on 
the road to Livermore. From their headquarters 
at this point the gang operated in Southern Wyom- 
ing and Northern Colorado, stealing and running 

[104] 



off horses and cattle. Government property suf- 
fering the most from their depredations. There 
was great temptation in those days to steal govern- 
ment horses and mules as these animals could be 
readily sold at remunerative prices. A pair of mules 
brought from $350 to $700 and no questions asked. 
Musgrove and his gang gave the army officers much 
annoyance and finally a reward was offered for his 
apprehension. Much of the stealing and running 
off of stock that was laid to the Indians that year 
was really done by Musgrove and his gang of out- 
laws. During the month of September, 1864, the 
beef herd at Fort Fred Steele, numbering fifty 
head, was run off in the night and while an effort 
was made to recapture them, not a hoof was dis- 
covered. During the month of October all the 
cavalry horses belonging to the cavalry company 
at the fort were supposed to have been taken by 
Musgrove's gang. It was strongly suspected at the 
time that the soldiers on guard were connected with 
the affair, as they had disappeared with the horses 
and there was no evidence that they had been killed. 
As soon as the loss was discovered, mounted men 
were sent in pursuit of the thieves, but they came 
back empty handed. A number of other raids 
were made soon after and in each case small bunches 
of horses and mules were taken. The quarter- 
masters' office at the fort was in a tent and was 
supplied with a safe. Thieves cut open the tent 
one night with a knife and removed the safe, carry- 
ing it to a gulch some distance away where it was 
blown open and the money it contained, $1,800, 
secured by the thieves. The stealing of the safe 
could not, of course, be charged to the Indians and 
an effort was then made to break up the organized 
gang of outlaws that infested the country. Mus- 
grove, who was believed to be the leader of the 
brigands, came in for a full share of attention. At 
last, through the efforts of the late Abner Loomis 
of Fort Collins, Musgrove was apprehended. Mr. 
Loomis had known Musgrove several years and had 
sold him vegetables from his farm in Pleasant val- 
ley and had told the outlaw that if he ever stole a 
horse or mule belonging to a settler in the Cache la 
Poudre valley the ranchmen would organize, hunt 
him down and hang him. This admonition had the 
desired effect, for, so far as is known, not a ranch- 
man in the valley ever had an animal stolen by. the 
gang. Knowing that a price had been set on Mus- 
grove's head and that the whole country was an- 
xious to get rid of him, Mr. Loomis decided to ef- 
fect his capture, which he did by resorting to strat- 
agem. In the latter part of October, 1868, he 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



started for Musgrove's rendezvous on horseback, 
unarmed and unattended. On approaching the 
the camp, Musgrove, gun in hand, halted him and 
asked if he was armed. Mr. Loomis replied he was 
not, but had come on a peaceful mission. Being 
assured that his visitor was unarmed, Musgrove al- 
lowed him to enter the camp. Mr. Loomis then 
told Musgrove where he could find a valuable horse, 
which had strayed from the outlaw's band a few 
days before. The animal, he said, was in a neigh- 
bor's field and that Musgrove could get the horse 
by going after him. Being lulled into security by 
the belief that a man who would take so much 
pains to do him a favor must be a friend, Musgrove 
accompanied Mr. Loomis to the valley to get his 
horse. They stopped at Mr. Loomis' house for sup- 
per, and while they were eating. Officer Haskell 
from Denver, entered the house with gun in hand 
and ordered the brigand to throw up his hands, 
which order was promptly obeyed. Haskell had 
been told to conceal himself near the house and be 
ready to make the capture while supper was being 
served. He ironed his prisoner, took him to Den- 
ver and lodged him in the Larimer street prison. 
Musgrove arrived in Denver at rather an unfort- 
unate time for himself, as the people of that city 
had lately been devoting their attention to the clean- 
ing out of outlaw gangs. Sam Dungan, another 
outlaw, who had been driven out of Cheyenne and 
Laramie City by threats of lynching, had just held 
up and robbed an old man named Orson Brooks of 
about $125, and had been hanged by the citizens. 
The day after the execution of Dungan, a vigilance 
committee formed on Blake street in the afternoon 
and in an orderly procession marched to the prison 
and demanded the person of Musgrove. When the 
door opened to admit the leader, the prisoner sus- 
pecting their purpose seized a billet of wood and 
stood at bay, defying them to take him. Revolvers 
were drawn and several shots fired at him, but 
owing to the excitement, none took effect. After a 
short but sharp struggle, Musgrove was over- 
powered and taken to the Larimer street bridge over 
Cherry creek, where preparations had been made 
for the lynching. Realizing his doom, he resolved 
to meet it bravely. His request to be permitted to 
write a hasty note to a friend was granted. The 
message, written with a pencil on the railing, was 
soon finished, when he was put into a wagon and 
driven into the bed of the creek under the bridge, 
from one of the floor timbers of which dangled a 
rope. Here he was bound, hands and feet and the 
noose adjusted about his neck, when the order was 



given to drive the wagon from under him. To 
make death certain and immediate, Musgrove 
sprang into the air and when he fell his neck was 
broken, his death being comparatively painless. 

Speaking of the lynching of Musgrove, the Rocky 
Mountain News commented at the time as follows : 

"Musgrove was an outlaw who had made society 
his prey for several years, successively defying by 
boldness, when he could not outwit by cunning, the 
officers of justice. He was driven as a bandit from 
California, Nevada and Utah and first appeared 
in Colorado in the role of a murderer at Fort 
Halleck in 1863. For this he was arrested and sent 
to Denver, where he was discharged by the United 
States Commissioner for want of jurisdiction. Tak- 
ing up his residence on Clear Creek at Baker's 
bridge, he soon became the recognized chief of a 
band of land pirates, who lived by running off gov- 
ernment stock, effacing the brand and then dis- 
posing of it. 

"The charge which exasperated the people was 
that of his having been the leader of one of the 
bands of Indians which ravaged our settlement last 
fall. As he was taken from the jail he said, 'I sup- 
pose you are going to hang me because I've been an 
Indian chief. Deprecate the course as we will the 
fact remains, that the people resorted to violence 
because the criminal laws did not afford the protec- 
tion which the people had a right to demand of 
them." 

Hall's history of Colorado, closed an extended 
comment on the violent death of Musgrove in the 
following terms: "In the early times as they are 
called, the people endured many atrocities with rea- 
sonable patience, but when some especially heinous 
assault was made upon their rights, their wrath ex- 
ceeded all bounds and instantly rendered a judg- 
ment from which there was neither escape nor 
appeal." 

I am indebted for some of the facts stated in Mus- 
grove's career to Halls' History of Colorado and to 
Coutant's History of Wyoming. The account of 
the manner of Musgrove's arrest was given me by 
Mr. Loomis a good many years ago. 

Stories of Early Days 

Robert J. Spotswood, who died at his home in 
Littleton, Colorado, in June, 1910, was express 
messenger and later Division Superintendent on the 
Old Overland Stage line, and personally knew 
many of the famous characters who added the spice 



[105] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



of romance to the old frontier. Said the Rocky 
Mountain News at the time of Mr. Spotswood's 
death : 

"Mr. Spotswood succeeded the notorious Joseph 
A. Slade, the man-killer who was described so pict- 
uresquely by Mark Twain, as superintendent of the 
Julesburg division of the Overland stage line. It 
was on this division that Slade made his reputation 
as a man-killer. He was put in charge of the divi- 
sion at a time when the depredations of Indians and 
outlaws along the division made travel a matter of 
peril. The company realized that somebody would 
have to be put in charge who could take hold with 
a firm hand, and Slade proved to be the man for 
the post. He killed right and left, and soon the 
Indians and outlaws learned to give his division a 
wide berth. 

"In justice to Slade it should be said that he was 
a perfect gentleman except when under the control 
of liquor," said Mr. Spotswood a short time ago. 
"He was a quiet-spoken and most agreeable man 
when sober, hut was a fiend incarnate when drunk. 
He worked faithfully and well for the company and 
he soon had the reputation of bringing his stages 
through on time. Eventually, however, liquor be- 
gan getting the upper hand of him, and the officials 
of the company realized that they would have to 
let him out, as his outbreaks were beginning to 
create a good deal of complaint. 

"When I received the appointment as superin- 
tendent of the division to succeed Slade, my friends 
in Denver bade me good-bye almost tearfully. It 
was predicted that I would never return to Denver 
alive. 'Slade will kill you rather than yield his 
post,' I was told, but I answered that the killing 
would have to take place as there was nothing for 
me to do but go ahead and obey the company's 
orders. 

"The division headquarters at that time was 
Virginia Dale, about 100 miles northwest of Den- 
ver. Slade made that place his headquarters when 
the Overland route was moved south to include 
Denver. It was a beautiful and romantic spot on 
Dale creek, and Slade had named it for his wife, a 
handsome and charming woman. When I arrived 
at Virginia Dale and told my mission, there was 
no wild outbreak on Slade's part. He bowed to 
the will of the company without a word, and he and 
his wife did everything in their power to make my 
stay agreeable during the next two or three days. 
Slade made an accounting and turned over every- 
thing in good shape. His own stock he separated 
from that belonging to the company. He had many 

[106] 



horses and mules and wagons, and took them to 
Montana, as the Virginia City boom was on, and he 
told me he intended to return to his old business as 
a freighter. 

"It so happened that a year later I was trans- 
ferred to Virginia City, where Slade had been 
freighting. He had made a great deal of money 
and had a fine ranch near Virginia City, but his old 
habits were too strong for him. He had killed 
several persons during his wild outbreaks, and, 
after several warnings had proved unavailing, the 
vigilantes took him out and hanged him in 1864." 

Mr. Spotswood ran as express messenger between 
Atchison and Denver at the beginning of his career 
on the Overland, and faced countless hardships and 
perils. The express coaches carried no passengers, 
but were filled with packages. They were especial 
prey of highwaymen, and the messenger's life was 
one of constant peril. The trip consumed six days 
and nights, and Mr. Spotswood usually slept by 
buckling himself with straps in the rear boot of the 
coach to avoid being jolted out while he caught a 
few naps. He was acquainted with all the famous 
characters of frontier days in Kansas, and was a 
close friend of "Buffalo Bill" Comstock, the scout 
and buffalo hunter w\\o was the first to bear that 
descriptive name. In later years Comstock aided Mr. 
Spotswood in running down a desperado, who had 
committed an unprovoked murder at one of the 
stage stations and had hidden himself in the wilder- 
ness, defying all the efforts of the soldiers at Fort 
Halleck to capture him. At Mr. Spotswood's re- 
quest, Comstock disguised himself as an Indian and 
took the trail. He had lived most of his life with 
the Sioux, and was probably the greatest scout and 
trailer the West ever knew. Comstock in a day or 
two had captured the murderer and delivered him 
to the commandant at Fort Halleck, where the 
desperado was hanged. 

Charles Clay's Thrilling Experience 
With Indians 

Charles Clay, the pioneer colored man of the 
Cache la Poudre valley, who started the first barber 
shop at Laporte, related the following account of 
his life and experience in the West to a reporter 
and it was printed in the Fort Collins Courier in 
1909. In this story, Mr. Clay makes the claim 
that "as near as he could get at it" he was born in 
1810, but in a former interview with him that was 
printed in 1900, it was figured out he was born in 
1828. At any rate, he was a very old man when he 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



died on August 31st, 1910, and it is possible that 
the latest story of his birth is correct. He well 
remembered events of which he was cognizant in 
the early days and the dates he gives correspond 
with those of other authorities. The story prac- 
tically as he told it being as follows: 

"I was born in Calloway County, Missouri, near 
what is now the town of Fulton, as near as I can 
get at it, October 10, 1810. My parents were slaves 
and I was born in slavery, being the property of 
John W. Robinson, a wealthy planter. I lived the 
usual life of the slaves and was freed with the rest 
of them by Mr. Lincoln's proclamation. I had gone 
to St. Louis at the outbreak of the war and there I 
got a place as cook with a party headed by Richard 
Overall, that started for California, overland in the 
late summer of 1861. We got as far as Fort Lara- 
mie, where I got a job cooking for the soldiers. I 
came to Fort Collins in 1864 with the soldiers, this 
being an army post at the time. From here I went 
to Laporte, where I started a barber shop, the first 
one in the Poudre valley. There I shaved many 
men who were prominent in those days along the 
Overland trail, among them Jack Slade, the man- 
killer, who was afterwards lynched up in Montana. 
Others I remember were Bill Updyke, the stage 
driver; Bob Saunders, wagon boss; Bob Spotswood, 
division agent for the Overland, and William S. 
Taylor, who ran the hotel at Laporte. I worked for 
him as cook for a while and had the honor of cook- 
ing General Grant's meal for him when he came 
through in a special coach after the close of the war. 

"I never will forget that dinner. We had the 
best Laporte afforded — trout, caught out of the 
Poudre just above town, chicken, squash, baked 
beans and potatoes. I had cooked the potatoes in a 
steamer and I put the steamer on the window sill 
in the kitchen, while I was busy putting on other 
dishes. When I went after the potatoes they were 
gone and I found out the soldiers in General Grant's 
escort had taken them. The general had a good 
laugh when he found it out and he said he made out 
a good dinner without potatoes. He thought it was 
about the best meal he'd had on the whole trip. 

"Those were exciting days. I remember once 
when we were at Fort Laramie, I had to go out 
with a troop of cavalry under command of Lieu- 
tenant Collins. He was a son of Col. Collins, for 
whom Fort Collins was named. The Indians had 
attacked a wagon party near Sweetwater and we 
went to their relief. They were barricaded in a 
corral made of their wagons, but had already lost 
several, two of their women having been stolen by 



the redskins. When we got to the camp, the Indians 
fled and we went after them. After chasing them 
into the hills. Lieutenant Collins' horse became 
frightened and dashed out of line into the line of the 
enemy. The last we saw of him he was surrounded 
by Indians and he disappeared with them. 

"We did not find him until next morning, when 
his body, cut open by the redskins, was lying on the 
ground. We found a note at his side signed by two 
white women, who said they had been captured and 
that they would try and break away the next night. 
They wanted us to stay on the trail of the Indians, 
so they could join us if possible. We followed them 
and sure enough, the next day one of the women was 
found by us. She had made her escape, but the 
other one was carried away and we never heard from 
her or the Indians again, as they had given us the 
slip. I'm pretty black, but I tell you my skin 
turned white more than once in those days. I could 
give you some more yarns like that from my life 
that would make your hair stand up, if I had a 
little time to think." 

Rescue of Ute Susan 

I am indebted to J. N. Hollowell of Loveland, 
for the following pioneer reminiscences : 

"I arrived in the Big Thompson valley in Octo- 
ber, 1860, and found that about twenty people had 
preceded me. Among those living in the valley at 
that time, as I recall them to mind, were Thomas 
H. Johnson, John Hahn, W. A. Bean, Samuel 
Heffner, Adam Dick, W. C. Stover, Doc. Allen, 
Ed. Clark, Mariana Modena, his Indian wife whom 
he called 'John,' and three children, Lena, Antoine, 
and Martin Modena, Louis Papa, Jack McGaa and 
squaw, Tim Goodin and squaw, and three Mexi- 
cans and their squaws. 

"The principal industry at that time, through 
which we made our living, was hauling hay to 
Central City and vicinity, a distance of about 75 
miles. Our meat, during the summer, was ob- 
tained principally from antelope ; in the winter from 
deer, sometimes elk, and mountain sheep. 

"There was no particular change in the situation 
of affairs during 1861, except that people came in, 
stopped a short time on a piece of land and then 
moved away, finding nothing in the country that 
was to them attractive. A few stray Indians passed, 
by in the spring on their way to northern hunting 
grounds, returning again in the fall. They were of 
no particular trouble to the settlers, except that 
they were always hungry. Among the most 

[107] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY^ 



COLORADO 



familiar Indians were those belonging to Chief 
Lefthand's and Chief Friday's bands of Arapahoes. 
Chief Friday and his band numbering between 200 
and 300, was located for a time in the Cache la 
Poudre valley, but they would often stray over to 
the Big Thompson. 

"In the spring of that year I went to Golden and 
purchased garden seeds from Bill Loveland's store. 
These I planted on W. B. Osborn's ranch (now 
owned by M. Y. Osborn), about one and a half 
miles east of the present city of Loveland. I was 
fortunate in raising cabbage, lettuce, radishes, 
onions and melons, which found a ready sale at 
good prices. It was an experiment, consequently I 
did not branch out very heavy. Being at Mariana's 
store one day in September, I invited him to come 
to my place and eat melons and to bring the rest 
of the squaw men with him. They came, six of 
them. I prepared a dinner for them and they ate 
to their fill. To the best of my knowledge, the 
vegetables I raised that year were the first grown 
in the Big Thompson valley. There were then 
about twenty persons living here, of whom only 
Thomas H. Johnson, W. B. Osborn, John Hahn, 
Louis Papa and myself remain. The rest have all 
moved away or passed on 'to that bourne whence no 
traveler returns.' 

"One day in the latter part of June, 1863, I was 
lying asleep in my cabin, a mile and a half southeast 
of the present city of Loveland. Being suddenly 
aroused from my slumbers by an unusual noise, I 
looked up and discovered that my cabin was full of 
Indians. They were painted and feathered up in 
regular war style. After I had dressed myself, the 
spokesman of the party said 'swap,' pointing at the 
hat I had on and at a looking glass hanging on the 
wall. He then pointed up the Big Thompson river 
as an invitation to go with them. My first thought 
was they wanted to 'swap' a pony for my hat and 
looking glass, so I took the glass and went with 
them to their camp, about half a mile distant. 
When we reached the camp I found about a half 
a dozen tepees which I supposed were for the use of 
the chiefs or headmen. One of my guides opened 
the entrance to one of the tepees and soon came out 
with a young squaw whom he pushed against me, 
saying 'swap,' pointing to my hat and my glass. I 
sized them up the best I could under the circum- 
stances and replied 'no swap.' The squaw, judging 
by her dress, was about 13 years of age. There 
were some 200 or 300 Indians in the band, al- 
together, and when I refused to 'swap,' they set up 
such a yell as I shall probably never hear again. I 

[108] 



then left them and went back to my cabin, feeling 
not a little uneasy concerning the outcome. They 
didn't trouble me, however. The band staid in 
camp two nights. On the second night I saw a 
bright light in the Indian camp and heard. a thump, 
thump, so I went as close to them as I thought 
prudent. The savages were having a war dance. 
The bucks were going round and round in a circle, 
raising their feet and keeping time to the thumps, 
yelling the war whoop and carrying poles on which 
were strung three scalps with long black hair. 
Those that did not dance, chanted their war song 
in unison with the thumps. They kept this up until 
midnight or later. The following morning they 
broke camp and marched away in a northeasterly di- 
rection. Though they had done me no harm, I was 
not a bit displeased to see them leave my neigh- 
borhood. 

"That year Company B of the First Colorado 
volunteer cavalry and some Michigan troops were 
camped at Laporte. There had been some trouble 
with the redskins on the Platte, so a party of about 
a dozen soldiers was sent down there to straighten 
things out. On their way back the soldiers forded 
the Platte near the present town of Evans and 
climbed the bluff. From here they saw a large 
camp of Indians on the opposite side of the river, 
apparently in some commotion. The soldiers re- 
crossed the river and hastened to the camp, finding 
Chief Lefthand's band of Arapahoes, the same band 
that was at my place only a few days before. The 
savages were preparing to burn at the stake the 
young squaw they had tried to 'swap' to me for the 
hat and looking glass, and already had her tied to 
a tree with fagots piled up around her. The 
soldiers rescued the girl and took her to their camp 
at Laporte, and in the course of a few days sent her 
to Denver. From there. Governor Evans sent her, 
under guard, to Sulphur Springs, where she was 
turned over to her people. The young squaw's 
name was Susan and she was a sister of Chief 
Ouray of the Utes. In a raid upon the Ute camp 
the Arapahoes killed three Ute warriors and cap- 
tured Susan. In after years Susan married Chief 
Johnson and it was through her interposition that 
Mrs. N. C. Meeker and her daughter, Josephine, 
were saved from a cruel death at the hands of the 
Utes at the time of the White river massacre in 
September, 1879. Mrs. Meeker and her daughter 
were from Greeley and Susan remembered that 
white soldiers had saved her from a cruel fate when 
she was about to be burned at the stake on the very 
spot where Greeley now stands. It was gratitude 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



that prompted her to intercede for and save the lives 
of the two vv'hite women." 

Mr. Hollowell's story of the rescue of Susan 
from the Arapahoes is corroborated in all essential 
particulars by Major Simon Whitely of Racine, 
Wisconsin, who, at the time of Susan's rescue, was 
Indian agent to the Utes. In an interview with a 
reporter, which was printed in the Chicago Tribune, 
November 5, 1879, shortly after the White river 
massacre. Major Whitely told the following story: 

"In the three years of m.y agency I never dis- 
covered any evidence of dissatisfaction or anything 
but a kindly feeling for the whites on the part of the 
Utes, which I attribute very largely to the fact that 
I restored to them the squaw Susan, the sister of 
Chief Ouray, who saved the lives of the Meeker 
women after the massacre of their husband and 
father, N. C. Meeker, at the White river agency on 
September 28, 1879. While on my way to Sulphur 
Springs in 1863, I was overtaken by a messenger 
from Governor Evans, who informed me of the 
rescue of a Ute squaw from the Arapahoes and 
Cheyennes by the soldiers of Company B of the 
First Colorado, stationed at Laporte. These In- 
dians had captured the squaw in one of their raids 
and, while encamped near the mouth of the Cache 
la Poudre river, had determined to burn her at the 
stake. The commanding officer at Laporte, hear- 
ing of this, took a detachment of troops and, by 
alternate threats and promises, obtained her release 
after she had already been tied to the stake and the 
fire lighted. Susan was sent to Denver in charge 
of a guard of soldiers and forwarded from there to 
me at Sulphur Springs in Middle park. I then sent 
her, accompanied by U. M. Curtice, my interpreter, 
to her people and delivered her to them after a 
journey across the western portion of Colorado into 
the borders of Utah, to the camp of the Indians on 
Snake river, where she was received with every de- 
monstration of joy by the tribe." 

Major Whitely concluded his story by saying that 
Susan was Chief Ouray's sister, who displayed so 
much kindness and affection for the Meeker women, 
mother and daughter, and through whose inter- 
position, doubtless, their lives were saved. 

Major Whitely's story was reproduced in the 
Fort Collins Courier from the Chicago Tribune, on 
November 12, 1879. Knowing that Capt. C. C. 
Hawley of Fort Collins, was an officer in the First 
Colorado in 1863, the editor of the Courier called 
his attention to the story told by Major Whitely 
and he corroborated it in some particulars. He said : 

"Susan was taken to Denver, where my company 



was stationed at the time, and turned over to Major 
Whitely, who returned her to her people." Capt. 
Hawley also said that Susan had been with the 
Arapahoes so long that she had acquired their lan- 
guage and habits and was in no danger of being 
burned at the stake, as stated by Major Whitely in 
his interview. The attention of Thomas R. Mc- 
Bride, one of the early settlers of Laporte was also 
called to the story and he stated that Major 
Whitely's version of the incident was correct. He 
said that Susan was brought to Laporte and kept in 
the family of Bill Carroll until Governor Evans 
decided what to do with her. 

The Cherokee Trail 

In 1848, after a part of the Cherokee nation of 
Indians had ceded to the L^nited States their lands 
in Georgia, a party was organized and sent to the 
Pacific coast to look up a new country in which to 
locate their people. They came west by the Arkan- 
sas valley route to the mouth of Squirrel creek, a 
tributary of the Arkansas river. They ascended 
this creek to the divide, thence crossing to the head 
of Cherry creek, following this stream to its junc- 
tion with the South Platte. Though looking for 
gold was not the main purpose of the expedition, 
nevertheless they found that it existed in the streams 
of this region. They did not stop to do much pros- 
pecting, however, but pushed on northward along 
the eastern base of the mountains until they reached 
where Laporte is now. Here they plunged into the 
mountains, following a route that led them past 
what is now known as Virginia Dale and over the 
divide to the Laramie Plains, thence on west to 
California. On their return from the Pacific coast, 
in 1849, they came down from the Laramie Plains 
by the way of what is now St. Cloud and Cherokee 
park, where they evidently camped one night. From 
there they came over Cherokee hill, through what 
is now known as Alford, down Calloway hill, cross- 
ing the North Fork at the Cradock ranch, near 
which they struck their outgoing trail which they 
followed to Laporte, and thence on south to the 
Arkansas. There is a tradition to the efEect that 
they were surprised at Cherokee Park by a war 
party of Utes that had come through Sand creek 
pass, over Boulder Ridge and down Sheep creek. 
The Cherokees are said to have fled to the top of 
Cherokee hill where it is said a battle was fought in 
which the Cherokees were victorious. The Utes 
were driven from the field after a loss of many 
warriors. A number of the Cherokees were killed 



[109] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



in the fight, and these were buried on the battle 
field on the summit of the hill, where, to this day, 
mounds resembling graves, may be seen. Some of 
these mounds have been opened it is said, and human 
bones found in them, which lends an air of proba- 
bility to the tradition. When the remnant of the 
exploring party returned to Georgia, they attempted 
to organize an expedition for the Rocky Mountains 
on a gold hunting quest. News of the finding of 
gold in Cherry creek spread in Georgia, finally 
coming to the ears of W. Green Russell, miner of 
Dahlonega, who also projected an expedition to this 
region. In the meantime, a Cherokee cattle trader, 
named Parks, in driving his herds along what 
came to be known as the Cherokee trail, and having 
his eyes sharpened by the stories told by the Indians 
on their return from California, discovered gold in 
1852, on Ralston creek, a small affluent of Clear 
creek. These discoveries excited a great deal of 
interest and early in the Spring of 1858 the Chero- 
kees organized for a prospecting expedition to the 
vicinity of Pikes Peak. W. Green Russell joined 
them with a party of white men. This expedition 
consisted of twelve white persons and thirty Indians, 
among whom were George Hicks, Sen., (who was 
a lawyer by profession and a notable man among 
the Cherokees) who was leader of the party. George 
Hicks Jr., John Beck, Ezekiel Beck, Pelicon Tigre 
and others. The white persons, George McDougal, 
brother of Governor McDougal of California, who 
had a trading post on Adobe creek, a Mr. Kirk, 
wife and two children, Levi Braumbaugh, Philan- 
der Simmons, a mountaineer of several years ex- 
perience, and Messrs Brown, Kelly, Johns, Taylor 
and Tubbs. The company left the Missouri front- 
ier May 12th, and arrived at Bent's new fort in 
good season ; but the winter had been severe and the 
spring late, which made traveling slow and difficult 
nor were there labors rewarded that season, though 
they prospected from the head of the Arkansas to 
the Platte and one hundred miles to the north, 
which brought them into Larimer county. From 
this date the real history of the white man's occu- 
pation of Colorado begun. The news of gold finds 
in the Pikes Peak region spread like wildfire, and 
during 1858, thousands rushed to the Rocky mount- 
ains. The Cherokee trail is frequently mentioned 
in subquent descriptions by explorers and travelers 
through this region. 

[HO] 



Mystery of Cherokee Hill Mounds 
Explained 

The following story concerning himself and his 
experiences in Larimer county in 1862-3, in which 
is also explained the origin and purpose of the 
Indian mounds on the summit of Cherokee hill, 
was told by Thomas Quillan, an aged pioneer and 
at present an inmate of the County hospital, to 
Judge Jefferson McAnelly who had it printed in 
the Fort Collins Democrat on June 5th, 1907. The 
story fully explains the mystery of the Cherokee hill 
mounds which have attracted the attention and ex- 
cited the curosity of passers-by for many years. The 
common acceptation of the origin of these mounds 
has been that they contained the remains of Chero- 
kee Indian warriors who were killed in a battle with 
the Utes in 1848. The only foundation for this 
supposition is the fact that a band of Utes did raid 
a camp of Cherokees near the place that year, and 
run off a lot of horses belonging to the strangers. 

A few years after the Cherokees sold their lands 
in Georgia and Tennessee to the United States, the 
tribe dispatched a party of braves to the Pacific 
coast in search of a new location for the tribe. This 
party came up the Arkansas river, crossed over the 
divide to the head of Cherry creek, down which 
they traveled to the site of the present City of Den- 
ver. From there they came north, following the 
trend of the mountains to the present town of La- 
parte where they entered the hills and pursued a 
northerly course until they came out on to the Lar- 
amie Plains. They camped one night on the North 
fork of the Cache la Poudre in the vicinity of what 
is now St. Cloud or William Campton's noted 
summer resort. Here their camp was raided by a 
wandering band of Utes, who stole and drove off 
some of the traveler's horses. The tradition how- 
ever, that a battle ensued here in which the Chero- 
kees were vanquished with the loss of several of 
their warriors, lacks the element of truth, for the 
Cherokees continued their journey to the coast, but 
not being pleased with the country, returned to their 
tribe in the Indian Territory without the loss of a 
single one of their members, so far as history tells of 
the expedition. The trail they followed from the 
mouth of Cherry creek northward, and baqk, is 
still known as the Cherokee trail. Mr. Quillan's 
story, with Judge McAnelly's introduction, follows: 

"The mounds on Cherokee hill were discovered by 
a miner and a hunter in the winter of 1862-3. This 
miner was born on April 13th, 1829, in North 
Carolina, going thence with his parents to Indiana. 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



From Indiana the family moved, in 1854, to Marion 
county, Iowa, and thence to Randolph county, 
Illinois in 1858. This man's name is Thomas 
Quillan, familiarly known as "Uncle" Tom Quillan. 
He, like many others, was seized with the gold fever 
in 1859 and started from Chester, Illinois, for Pikes 
Peak April 5 th, in company with the two Killian 
brothers. Their outfit consisted of one wagon and 
three yoke of oxen. They were sixty-seven days on 
the road, arriving at Denver June 7th, 1859. Here 
they found but one log cabin, but numerous tents, 
and a floating, restless population of about 5,000. 
They remained here two days and, instead of going 
to Pikes Peak, they went to Gregory Gulch to hunt 
for gold. Here they worked in the mines and soon 
fell in with Green Russell, the discoverer of gold in 
Gregory gulch, and he taught them how to mine for 
the precious metals. Russell was a relative of 
Quillan. Tiring of mining, Quillan, in company 
with Thomas Bavington, Joseph Bog, George Per- 
kins and George Hall, started out in January 1862 
on a hunting, trapping and prospecting expedition 
to the northward of Gregory gulch. They struck 
the old Cherokee trail and followed it to Laporte, 
stopping there several days, buying supplies and in- 
quiring about the country. The only white man 
they became acquainted with there was John Provost 
an old-time trapper and voyager, and French Cana- 
dian. 

They journeyed from Laporte to Virginia Dale, 
remaining there a couple of weeks hunting on Dale 
creek and its tributaries. They then broke camp 
and moved on to what was then called Front creek 
where they hunted and trapped about a week and 
then moved to the North fork of the Cache la 
Poudre river in February. They pitched their 
tents in Cherokee park, adjacent to Cherokee hill, 
and hunted and trapped until spring. It was dur- 
ing that time that they discovered the mounds on 
Cherokee hill, which, to them, had the appearance 
of new made graves. Quillan's curiosity to learn 
what the mounds contained overcame his discretion 
and he bantered Perkins to help him open the graves 
for the purpose of seeing what was in them, but 
Perkins was superstitious and made a dozen excuses, 
finally declaring that he would not assist in opening 
the graves under any conditions. Not to be bluffed 
by superstitious notions, Quillan started out one 
day to make an investigation and after removing 
the stones and what little there was remaining, he 
came to solid ground. There were no graves there. 
In fact, the grass underneath the piles of stones was 
not yet dead, indicating the recent origin of the 



mounds. On their way back to Gregory gulch, the 
party stopped at Provost's place in Laporte. While 
there, Quillan asked Provost if he knew why the 
mounds were built on Cherokee hill and he said he 
did. Provost then told him that during the prev- 
ious fall a large band of Cheyenne and Arapahoe 
Indians had camped in that vicinity while on a hunt- 
ing trip. The squaws and children remained in 
camp while the bucks were out hunting, and as is 
customary with them, built the mounds as a signal 
to show the absent bucks what they had done in case 
anything happened to them. Provost's story solved 
the mystery of the mounds. Instead of being the 
graves of Cherokee warriors slain in battle with the 
Utes in 1848, they were simply the work of squaws 
and pappooses of that band of Indians that was 
camped near Cherokee hill in the fall of 1861. 

Uncle Tom Quillan gave up mining in 1872 and 
came to Larimer county, locating a homestead 
claim in Rattlesnake Park in the gulch known as 
Quillan gulch. In 1885 he purchased a ranch on 
Meadow creek, right at the foot of Cherokee hill, 
and lived there a good many years, finally disposing 
of the property and moving to Fort Collins which 
is still his home. 

A Plucky Young Man's Success 

The late William C. Stover of Fort Collins, 
former member of the Territorial legislature, who 
in 1876, as a member of the Constitutional con- 
vention helped to draft the present Constitution of 
Colorado, a successful merchant and president of the 
Poudre Valley bank for nearly a score of years, an 
institution that he and Charles H. Sheldon estab- 
lished in 1878, and which has since become the 
Poudre Valley National Bank, one of the soundest 
and best known financial institutions in the vrest, 
had his trials and tribulations in the pioneer days, 
when men's souls were at times severely tried and 
when more than one of them succumbed to the storms 
of adversity and gave up the fight. But he was 
made of sterner stuff. Though often hungry and 
poorly clad, he persevered and at last reached the 
top of the ladder which led up to success in life 
in all that term implies. He came to Colorado in 
1860, a mere boy scarcely nineteen years of age. 
When he left home in the spring of that year, his 
father fitted him out with a span of good horses, 
wagon, clothing, blankets and supply of provisions. 
He came direct to the Big Thompson valley and 
traded his horses and wagon for a squatter's claim, 
situated about a mile south of the present City of 

[111] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Loveland. In the spring of 1861, he planted a por- 
tion of his claim to potatoes, paying an enormous 
price for the seed, for potatoes were potatoes in those 
days. This exhausted his fund of ready money. 
His provisions also gave out and he was reduced to 
the extremity of having to dig up his seed potatoes 
before they had begun to grow for food. Of course 
he had no crop, but he managed in some way to ex- 
ist until the following winter when his resources 
gave out entirely. He was almost destitute of 
clothing, his raiment consisting mainly of a pair of 
blue denim overalls that had been patched until 
there was hardly a scrap left of the original garment, 
and his feet were clad in moccasins made of old 
gunny sacks. In this condition he appeared one 
day at the cabin of J. N. Hollowell, a former school- 
mate in Indiana, and told him that he had no boots 
and no money to buy them with, asking his friend if 
he could not help him to get a pair. Mr. Hollowell 
told him that he had no money, but that his uncle, 
W. B. Osborn, at Boulder had some money and he 
could get enough of him to buy a pair of boots. Mr. 
Hollowell went to Boulder, borrowed the money, 
bought a pair of stogy boots, paying $8 for them, 
and brought them back to Stover. When he re- 
turned, Mr. Stover said he had no trousers. Mr. 
Hollowell looked up some grain sacks that Mr. 
Osborn had brought from the East, filled with dried 
fruit, and from these Mr. Stover made himself a 
pair of trousers, using his old overalls for a pattern. 
He wore those trousers and boots all winter. Dur- 
ing the season of 1862 he managed, by working 
around at odd jobs, to make a living and that fall 
he put up a lot of hay which brought him a good 
snug sum of money, out of which he paid Mr. 
Hollowell the money borrowed for the boots. The 
writer has heard both Mr. Stover and Mr. Hollo- 
well tell this story, so that it is practically correct. 
In 1863 Mr. Stover sold his claim to the late 
John J. Ryan, and in 1864 went to Virginia City, 
Montana, which was then the center of a big gold 
excitement, returning in the fall of the year to his 
old home at South Bend, Indiana. In the spring of 
1 865 he borrowed money enough of his father which, 
with what he had of his own, enabled him to buy 
a freighting outfit of several wagons. These he 
loaded with provisions and merchandise and started 
back for Montana, arriving at Virginia City, at a 
time when flour was selling at $100 a sack, with 
bacon and other eatables correspondingly high. He 
closed out his load in short order, clearing $5,000 
in the transaction, and started right back for St. 
Joseph, Missouri, for another load. He made 



several trips across the plains to Montana between 
1865 and 1867, clearing a nice sum of money. 
After paying back all the mouey he had borrowed 
and selling his outfit, he returned to the Big Thomp- 
son in 1868 and bought an interest in the late A. K. 
Yount's store, continuing in trade there until 1870 
when he moved to Fort Collins and in company with 
the late John C. Matthews bought the Mason & 
Allen stock of goods, which was then kept in the 
Old Grout building. In 1873 the firm erected a 
two story brick building at the corner of Jefierson 
and Linden streets, recently torn down to make 
room for the Union Pacific railroad, into which 
they moved their stock. Soon after this Mr. Stover 
purchased Mr. Matthews' interest in the business 
and carried it on alone until 1880 when the late 
Albert B. Tomlin became associated with him. 
Until 1873, when the late Jacob Welch came to 
Fort Collins and started a store, this was the only 
general store in Fort Collins and it did an immense 
business annually. 

David Hershman's Pioneer Stories 

David Hershman came from Illinois to the Big 
Thompson valley in 1865, a young man, poor in 
purse, but full of hard work and rich in ambition 
and courage. He brought a harvester and mowing 
machine with him, and in August of that year, ob- 
tained employment cutting hay and harvesting the 
few patches of from two to five acres of wheat 
grown by the settlers. That fall he bought of H. 
B. Chubbuck the improvements on a claim lying 
south of the present city of Loveland, on which he 
filed a preemption. Here he lived for nearly forty- 
five years, adding to his land holdings until he had 
600 acres, all within two miles of Loveland. Dur- 
ing recent years he disposed of his land holdings 
with the exception of 150 acres which he still owns. 
Like all of the pioneers of the county, he endured 
many hardships and privations in the early days, but 
he had an unfaltering faitii in the future of the 
county and labored on, combating discouragements 
and adversity until success crowned his efforts. He 
is now in the enjoyment of a handsome competence 
and is spending his declining years in comfort and 
contentment. 

Mr. Hershman retains vivid recollections of in- 
teresting incidents and events of the days that tried 
men's souls, and has kindly favored me by relating 
some of them for this work. He says : 

"I have been a taxpayer in Larimer county since 
1866. I first began paying taxes when the county 



[n2j 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



treasurer held his ofEce in the court house at La- 
porte, and Uncle Ben Whedbee was treasurer. 
The court house was built of round logs — cotton- 
wood, if my memory serves me right. The next 
county treasurer was Dr. T. M. Smith, who 
held the office until the county seat was changed 
from Laporte to Fort Collins. There were only 
two stores in the county then. One of them was 
kept by Mason & Allen at Fort Collins, and the 
other by Mr. and Mrs. A. K. Yount in my old log 
house on the Big Thompson. These stores did a 
thriving business selling supplies to settlers and emi- 
grants. The Younts came to the Big Thompson 
valley in 1866 or 1867. 

John E. Washburn was appointed county judge 
by Governor Evans when the county was organized 
in 1864, and held his office for two years. I dis- 
tinctly recall the first case tried before him. His 
office was held in his log house, which is still stand- 
ing on the bank of the Big Thompson river, a short 
distance south of Loveland. The case referred to 
originated in this way: There had been a horse 
race and a good deal of betting on which horse 
should come out ahead. One man bet a span of 
horses against a sum of money and lost his team. 
When the stakes were to change hands, the owner 
of the horses refused to give them up. The winner 
of the team began proceedings in Judge Washburn's 
court to get possession. The judge summoned the 
usual number of jurors and the case went to trial. 
The names of some of the jurors were : J. Parrish, 
Joseph Denning, A. Wiseman, myself being among 
the number. I cannot recall the names of the other 
two. The jury heard all the evidence introduced 
by both sides, the pleas of counsel, who were Judge 
W. B. Osborn for the plaintiff and A. K. Yount for 
the defendant, and the instructions of the court. 
The way the counsel wrangled over the technical- 
ities of the law, was a caution. One of them affirmed 
that custom made law and the other that the statutes 
ruled, claiming that under the law title to property 
could not be acquired through gambling and that 
betting on a horse race was gambling, pure and 
simple. When they were through with their pleas, 
the judge ordered the acting sheriff, Sherman Smith, 
to take charge of the jury and keep them in close 
confinment until ' they had agreed upon a verdict. 
We were locked in the front room of the judge's 
house late in the evening. The judge and his fam- 
ily went to bed upstairs. We deliberated for several 
hours but could not agree. At last, as it drew near 
midnight and we were becoming anxious to get out 



and go home, we fixed up a verdict something after 
this manner: 

"We, the jury, find for the plaintiff and assess 
him with all the costs.'' 

We called the judge down stairs and presented 
him with our verdict. After reading it the judge 
said: Gentlemen of the jury, I cannot accept your 
verdict. Then addressing the sheriff, he said, "You 
will conduct the jury to their room and keep them 
there on bread and water until they agree." He 
then returned to his bed and we were again locked 
up in the front room. The hours passed slowly, 
but we had a friend outside who supplied us with 
whittling material from a dry goods box brought 
over from the store. It is remembered that the 
court had kindling wood enough to last him some 
time as a result of our whittling. Our friend on the 
outside furnished us with cigars also, and they served 
a good purpose. They kept us awake and made the 
judge feel willing to let us go. The smoke was 
dense and the upper floor of the house was quite 
open, so that he and his wife were practically smoked 
out. He came rushing down stairs, saying his room 
was full of smoke and he could not sleep. We then 
told the judge we could not agree upon anything 
different from the verdict we had already rendered 
and he might as well let us go home. The judge 
conferred with the contesting parties and they 
agreed to accept our verdict, so we were discharged 
and went home rejoicing early in the morning. 

In 1867, I think it was, Mr. and Mrs. Yount 
wanted to go to Denver after more goods, and they 
asked me to tend the store while they were gone. 
I consented, but told them there was one article in 
the store that I did not want to sell, and that was 
whiskey. They said, all right, you need not sell it. 
While they were gone some customers came to the 
store about 9 o'clock at night and demanded some 
liquor. They said there was to be a wedding down 
the creek and that such events could not be properly 
celebrated without a quantity of the ardent. I 
think the man who was to be groom was Old Mus- 
grove. We all knew he ought to marry or leave 
the country. The boys wanted four gallons of 
whiskey, but I remonstrated, saying I had no right 
to sell it. But Jim Eaglin told me there was no use 
remonstrating; that they wanted the liquor and 
must have it ; that he could draw it from the barrel 
and I could report to Yount that he had helped 
himself. He said the whiskey was absolutely neces- 
sary, for there couldn't be a wedding without it, 
and that Yount could charge it up to the boys. 

[113] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



When Mr. and Mrs. Yount came home about 
four days later, I told them the circumstances of the 
whiskey deal. They both laughed heartily and 
said it was all right. A few years later Mr. Yount 
was killed by the cars at Boulder. He undertook 
to board the train while it was in motion and fell 
under the cars and was run over and instantly killed. 
Mr. and Mrs. Yount sold their store on the Big 
Thompson and moved to Fort Collins in 1873, 
where they started the first bank established in Lar- 
imer county. Mr. Yount was killed in 1876. Be- 
fore that he had represented the county in the Ter- 
ritorial Legislature and was well thought of by all 
the pioneers. 

When my brother John and I came to the 
Thompson valley in the latter part of August, 1865, 
we found a few patches of wheat ranging from two 
to five acres in a field. Some of the settlers had a 
few potatoes, but the grasshoppers were thick and 
had destroyed nearly all the crops. Things looked 
pretty blue to us and for a while we thought we 
would have to go back to Illinois, but courage was 
our motto and we soon got some work to do cutting 
hay and grain. We had been advised to come to the 
Thompson by Judge W. B. Osborn, whom we met 
on the road near the present city of Longmont. 

Hay that year brought $100 per ton at Black 
Hawk and Central City, and almost everything 
else commanded a proportionate price. That fall I 
bought a ton of potatoes, paying 7c a pound for 
them. I hauled them to Central City and sold 
them for 12 cents a pound. Greorge L. Luce, who 
lived then on what is known as the John Ryan farm, 
had some eggs he wanted me to take to market. I 
sold the eggs for $2 per dozen and I have paid 25 
cents each for eggs when they were served to me 
at hotels. Notwithstanding numerous drawbacks 
and discouragements, I have lived and prospered. 
I have raised a family of ten children, all boys 
except nine." 

A Grateful Redskin 

Several years ago the late Abner Loomis, pioneer 
freighter, stockman and banker, told the following 
story to a reporter for the Denver Times. Mr. 
Loomis was standing in front of the Albany hotel, 
Denver, exchanging reminiscences with other old- 
timers, when a young Indian passed by. "That 
Indian reminds me of one I once knew," said he. 
"Did I ever tell you the story of Zeb?" On being 
answered in the negative he proceeded. I will pre- 
face the story by locating Huleatt gulch. The 

[114] 



gulch comes down from the northwest and opens 
out on the north side of the Cache la Poudre river 
about twenty miles west of Fort Collins. The 
Indians had a trail down this gulch, which they fol- 
lowed in coming from North Park to raid the set- 
tlements on the Plains or to attack their hereditary 
enemies, the Arapahoes and Cheyennes. They came 
from the Park through Ute pass, from which cir- 
cumstance the pass derives its name, and practically 
followed the line of the present State road leading 
from Capt. Davy's ranch on the Laramie river, to 
North Park. They forded the Laramie river near 
Capt. Davy's ranch, thence taking a course that led 
them to the head of the Huleatt gulch. After ford- 
ing the river at the mouth of the gulch they fol- 
lowed up Hill's gulch to the head of Rist canon, 
down which they proceeded to a point near the 
present town of Bellvue and then traveled south 
through the glade west of the hogbacks until they 
came to the Big Thompson valley. Their trail 
from North Park to the Big Thompson was well 
marked and was distinguishable for many years 
afterwards. 

Mr. Loomis' story follows: 

"During the early 60's the Indians infested the 
valley of Big Thompson as well as other parts of 
the state. They were forever prowling around, 
plundering the cabins of the settlers, running off 
stock and making themselves nuisances on general 
principles. 

"Early in the year 1860, I think it was, one of 
the settlers, a Frenchman by the name of De Vost, 
captured from a band of wandering Utes a little 
Indian boy about 12 years old. De Vost gave the 
boy the name of Zeb to take the place of his unpro- 
nounceable patronym. 

"Zeb was a bright youngster, and seemed to be 
blessed with virtues usually undeveloped in the red- 
skin character. It must not be forgotten, however, 
that Zeb had his vices, for he was a natural born 
thief if ever there was one. He regarded De Vost's 
property as exempted from his pilfering, and he 
guarded the home and effects of his captor with the 
most jealous care. 

"Zeb seemed contented with his new life, and 
at the age of 17 was a large, strong, good looking 
fellow. About this time a band of roving Utes 
happened to pass near Huleatt gulch. The recol- 
lections of roaming over the plains during his boyish 
days thronged Zeb's mind, and the desire for the 
free and unfettered life of the savage proved strong 
enough to lure him from the home of his captor, 
and he rejoined his tribe. Perhaps, during all these 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



years, memory had not been sleeping, but had re- 
called to Zeb the events of former days, and when 
opportunity offered, he was powerless to resist the 
desire to rejoin the companions of his childhood. 
De Vost, who had become attached to the boy, 
mourned his departure, but was forced to the con- 
clusion that after all Zeb was a redskin of the most 
ungrateful type. This was the opinion we all held, 
and as the majority of us never had a very exalted 
opinion of Zeb, we were not very much astonished 
at the young savage's taking French leave. 

"Several months passed after Zeb's departure, 
and the Indians continued to make life a burden to 
the settlers on the Big Thompson. It became evi- 
dent that something must be done to put a stop to 
the depredations of the redmen. The stealing of 
stock was a daily or nightly occurrence, and it 
wasn't safe to leave the horses in the corrals with- 
out a strong guard stationed there. 

"A band of prowlers appeared in Huleatt gulch 
and made camp there. The settlers were not long 
in coming to the conclusion that the pilgrims had 
come to this Mecca for a purpose, and their purpose 
was to run off our horses. We made up our minds 
to resist any encroachments upon our property, and 
we kept a sharp lookout. In spite of our careful 
watching, one day the rascals succeeded in getting 
away with eighteen head of horses, and before we 
could intercept their progress, they were well on 
their way to North Park. Six of us armed our- 
selves, and soon we were in hot pursuit. We over- 
took them near the head of Huleatt gulch. The 
Indians- prepared for a skirmish. One young brave 
stood on a rock at the entrance to the gulch and sent 
his arrows flying over in our direction. Ben Clay- 
more emptied a six-shooter and that Indian's career 
was ended. The Indians now appeared in numbers 
unpleasantly large, and we saw that they were pre- 
pared for immediate and decisive battle. They out- 
numbered us, and no doubt our earthly existence 
would have terminated at that time had not a timely 
circumstance intervened. 

"Just as the arrows from forty-seven redmen were 
about to be sent into our midst, there sprang from 
amongst the warriors a young fellow who talked to 
them rapidly and excitedly, and then ran, by leaps, 
in our direction. It was Zeb, who recognized De 
Vost among our party, and stayed the arrows of his 
fellows. The Indians sullenly withdrew from the 
field. 

"Zeb was delighted to see De Vost, and requested 
the Indians to return De Vest's horses, which was 
done. The rest of us were not so well treated, as 



our property went to make up the collection of the 
redmen's souvenirs. 

"De Vost tried to persuade Zeb to remain with 
him, but Zeb preferred to follow his copper-colored 
brethren. At parting with De Vost, Zeb showed 
signs of sincere grief, but instinct is stronger than 
education, and Zeb followed the promptings of 
Nature in his choice of a life. 

"Zeb promised De Vost that his band should 
trouble the settlers 'not any more,' and he was true 
to his promise, for the depredations in the Big 
Thompson valley ended. 

"Zeb died in 1871, and his last request was that 
his blanket and pipe should be given to De Vost. 
The Indians fulfilled his dying wish, and De Vost 
had the articles in his possession until his death, 
which occurred a few years ago. 

"Zeb was buried, Indian fashion, in Huleatt 
gulch. He was an example of a grateful redskin, 
and the only example, perhaps, on record." 

The "Happy Jack" Episode 

Along in the summer of 1873, a man known only 
by the name of "Happy Jack" made his appearance 
in the Cache la Poudre valley. He came here from 
the Hay & Thomas sheep ranch, situated near the 
Wyoming line, where he claimed to have been at 
work in the hay field. He sought and obtained per- 
mission to ride to Laporte with William P. Bos- 
worth who was returning to his home in Pleasant 
valley after selling a load of vegetables in 
Cheyenne. He said he wanted work and Mr. 
Bosworth told him that he might be able to 
get a job at the Obenchain saw mill, which 
stood on the bank of the river near where 
William Falloon and family now live, in Pleas- 
ant valley. "Happy Jack" did get a job at the mill, 
but did not stay long as he was found to be not of 
much account as a mill hand. From there he drifted 
to Boulder where he hired out to Clint Farrar to 
haul railroad ties from the mountains with an ox 
team. During his stay at the Obenchain mill, seve- 
ral horses belonging to ranchmen mysteriously dis- 
appeared and it was suspected that he belonged to a 
gang engaged in stealing and running off horses. 
This suspicion became so strong shortly after 
"Happy Jack" went to Boulder, that a warrant for 
his arrest was sworn out and placed in Sheriff 
Joseph Mason's hand to serve. Mr. Mason went to 
Boulder and being told by Mr. Farrar where to find 
the man he was looking for, the sheriff soon had him 
in custody. "Happy Jack" was brought back to 

[115] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Fort Collins and given a preliminary hearing but the 
evidence brought out vi^as not thought sufficient to 
justify the court in binding him over for trial in the 
district court, and he was discharged. This, how, 
ever, did not allay the suspicion that he was impli- 
cated in the horse theft. This feeling became so 
strong that "Happy Jack" made up his mind that 
the best thing he could do would be to leave the 
country which he attempted to do. He started for 
the mountains and on reaching the Lone Pine 
stopped at the Day cabin which stood on what is 
now known as the Harry Gilpin-Brown ranch, and 
asked for something to eat. Mrs. Day, who was 
alone, got dinner for him and after he had finished 
eating he inquired the way to Rabbit creek. Before 
leaving the cabin he brutally attacked and criminally 
assaulted Mrs. Day, leaving her in a semi-conscious 
state in which condition her husband found her a 
few minutes later. On recovering consciousness she 
told her husband, in broken sentences, what had oc- 
curred and also described the man. She also told 
him that her assailant had inquired the way to Rab- 
bit creek. News of the assault upon Mrs. Day was 
sent post haste to Fort Collins and SherifiE Mason 
and Deputy Sheriff O. P. Yelton, lost no time in 
instituting a search for the guilty man. They knew 
from the description given of him by Mrs. Day 
that it was "Happy Jack" and supposed he was 
hiding in the hills somewhere on Rabbit creek, from 
the fact that he had inquired the way to that local- 
ity. "Happy Jack", however, kept on up the road 
going westward. Just about sundown he stopped 
at the McNey ranch, where Clerin T. Woods was 
then living, and asked for a bowl of milk which he 
drank and went on his way. Later in the evening 
word came to Mr. Woods that Mrs. Day had been 
mistreated and that Sheriff Mason was going to 
look for her assailant on Rabbit creek. The de- 
scription of the man given Mr. Woods fitted the 
person to whom he had given the bowl of milk and 
he knew that Sheriff Mason was on the wrong track, 
so he saddled up a horse and rode over to Rabbit 
creek to head the sheriff off and set him on the 
right road. Shortly after he reached Rabbit creek 
the sheriff and his deputy drove up and were told by 
Mr. Woods that the man they were looking for had 
gone west past his home. The sheriff and his dep- 
uty turned back to the main Livermore road and 
drove west, having lost much time in the trip up 
Rabbit creek. They kept up the pursuit to Fred 
Smith's mill on the North Lone Pine where they 
found "Happy Jack" fast asleep. The next morn- 
ing they started for Fort Collins with "Happy 

[116] 



Jack" in custody. When they arrived at the Day 
cabin, Mrs. Day was asked if their prisoner was the 
man who assaulted her and she promptly replied 
that it was. Sheriff Mason then roped "Happy 
Jack" to a corral post and giving Mrs. Day his 
Remington rifle, told her to shoot him, but her 
nerve failed her and she refused to take his life. 
"Happy Jack" was brought to Fort Collins and con- 
fined in a room on the second floor of the Grout 
building which then answered for church, court 
house and jail. That night he was taken out by 
about a dozen determined men and strung up twice 
by a rope thrown over a cottonwood limb on the 
river bottom, in an effort to scare him into a confes- 
sion of horse stealing and to tell who his confed- 
erates were. This he persistently refused to do, 
saying they might hang him and be damned, but he 
would never give anything away. Failing to wring 
a confession out of him, they brought him back to 
the quarters in the old Grout building. The next 
evening while being given his supper "Happy Jack" 
complained that one of the manacles was too tight 
about his leg and that it hurt him, and he asked his 
guard to loosen it a little which was done. The 
prisoner wore high top boots and the manacles were 
fastened outside the boot-leg, just above the ankle. 
Later in the evening, while the guard was at supper 
in one of the lower rooms, "Happy Jack" succeeded 
in working one foot out of the boot, leaving the 
manacle around the bare leg and loose enough to 
permit of his slipping the foot through the hopple, 
thus liberating it. He then drew on his boot again 
and taking the loose manacle in his hand, he -jumped 
from the window to the ground below and dis- 
appeared in the darkness. In lighting he fell upon 
and broke through some boards that covered an out- 
side cellarway, creating a racket that startled the 
guards, but before they could get out of the house 
and run around to the back side of it to see what 
caused the racket, "Happy Jack" had scrambled out 
and made off as fast as his legs could carry him. 
When the guards turned the corner of the building 
they heard footsteps fleeing in the direction of the 
mill race where it crosses North College avenue, 
and they concluded that their prisoner had given 
them the slip, which, upon examination, proved 
true. An alarm was sounded and very soon a posse 
of men went in pursuit of the fugitive, but owing to 
the darkness and the number of hiding places in the 
bushes along the river bank, they failed to find him 
and he made good his escape. "Happy Jack" was 
never seen in this vicinity after that, and many peo- 
ple believe to this day that he was removed from the 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



jail by a band of avengers who took him to Natural 
fort on the Cheyenne road where they hung him 
and buried his body in a concealed grave. This is 
not generally accepted as truth, however. Those 
who had a chance to know all the circumstances be- 
lieve that he made his escape in the manner related. 
A circumstance that lends strength to this belief is 
that some three or four years afterward the man- 
acles he wore were found near Park station, twelve 
miles northwest of Fort Collins, one of them being 
broken. The supposition is that after the fugitive 
had outwitted his pursuers and gotten far enough 
away to feel safe from recapture, he placed the man- 
acled limb on a rock and broke the iron with a stone, 
thus freeing himself from an obstacle to fast travel- 
ing and also from evidence that he was an escaped 
prisoner. In any event, "Happy Jack" was never 
heard from afterwards from anyone in this vicinity, 
but the stories of his misdeeds and nervy escape have 
survived and are often recounted by old-timers. 

Larimer County's Only Lynching 

One thing stands out in blazing characters to the 
credit of the law abiding sentiment which prevailed 
among the early settlers of Larimer county, and 
that is they never but once resorted to lynch law as 
a means of suppressing crime or redressing public 
grievances. Though, as is frequently the case on 
the border, lawless acts were committed and the 
civil and moral code held in open defiance and some- 
times bloody tragedies were enacted, yet the people 
restrained their cry for vengeance and allowed the 
law to take its course, except in one instance. The 
reason for this may be found in the fact that the 
pioneers of the county were, as a rule, from the 
best blood of the Eastern states, where the courts 
were in full swing, where human life was protected 
by stringent laws, the rights of property respected, 
where obediance to the mandates of the constituted 
authorities were prerequisite to good citizenship and 
where punishment swiftly followed the commission 
of crimes. Having grown up under such conditions 
and amid such environments, and having an in- 
grained abhorence of mob rule, and, besides, being 
engaged in the peaceful pursuit of agriculture and 
stock raising, it is but natural that they should ab- 
stain until forbearance ceased to be a virtue at least, 
from taking the law in their own hands and visiting 
summary penalties upon malefactors. 

The single instance spoken of occurred in Fort 
Collins in the spring of 1888. 



On Wednesday the 4th of April, that year, James 
H. Howe, a mill-wright by occupation who had 
previously, by reason of his general bearing and skill 
as a mechanic, stood high in the estimation of the 
community, in a moment of drunken frenzy bru- 
tally and cruelly killed his wife by cutting her 
throat with his pocket knife. Mrs. Howe was a 
most estimable vi^oman and was greatly beloved by a 
wide circle of friends in the community, and the 
news of the tragedy spread all over the town like 
wildfire. The whole town was aroused and in- 
furiated at the atrocity of the crime committed. The 
Howe family lived in the cottage which stands on 
Walnut street just east of the Elks' building. The 
tragedy occurred about one o'clock in the afternoon, 
and business in town was almost entirely suspended 
during the remainder of the day. Groups of men, 
women and children were seen in all parts of the 
town discussing with bated breath the details of the 
horrid crime that had startled them with the sud- 
denness of the unprovoked brutality. Every nerve 
was stretched to its utmost tension and every muscle 
quivered with uncontrollable excitement. As the 
news spread to the country and people came flocking 
into town to learn the particulars, the excitement 
grew more intense and not until the tragic event 
which ended in the hanging of Howe by an army 
of infuriated citizens was there any subsidence of the 
feeling apparent. 

Howe struck his wife first on the right side of her 
face with the knife, inflicting a cruel but not fatal 
wound. He then changed the knife to his left hand 
and plunged the blade into the left side of her neck, 
severing the jugular vein. Mrs. Howe was on her 
hands and knees on the ground in front of their 
house and Mr. Howe was upon her back with his 
right arm about her waist. After stabbing his 
victim the last time, Howe got up, went into the 
house and laid down upon a bed where he was found 
when taken into custody. Mrs. Howe struggled 
to her feet bleeding profusely and cried "murder" 
in a smothered voice. She then walked to the gate 
passed out to the sidewalk and started for Linden 
street, less than half block away. She had taken 
but a few steps when she stopped and tried to catch 
hold of a fence post for support, but failing, fell to 
the ground face down-ward and expired. Gus 
Evans, who happened to be driving past the house, 
saw the conflict and at once gave the alarm. Will- 
iam Nolan, S. H. Seckner, Thomas Ogilvie, Ed. 
Konsheim and Sam Rugh and others responded to 
the alarm and soon appeared at the scene of the 
tragedy. Seeing that Mrs. Howe was past help, 

[117] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



they turned their attention to securing the perpe- 
trator of the horrid deed. Charles Barrett and A. 
R. Chaffee were sent around to the back door and 
Seckner, Ogilvie and Night-watchman M. Rinker 
entered the house by the front door. They found 
Howe reclining upon the only bed in the house and 
immediately took him into custody. Howe offered 
no resistance to arrest. At this time Under-Sheriff 
Lafe Stultz arrived and, with the help of by- 
standers, rushed the murderer to the cell in the 
county jail. No attempt was made enroute to the 
jail to take Howe from the officer, although a large 
and terribly excited crowd of men followed, threat- 
ening vengeance. 

County Coroner Dr. C. P. Miller, summoned a 
jury composed of L. J. Hilton, W. T. Rogers, S. E. 
Clark, G. T. Wilkins, John McPherson and John 
G. Lunn, who held an inquest over the body of the 
murdered woman, returning the following verdict: 

"The said jurors upon their oaths do say that the 
deceased, Mrs. Eva Howe, came to her death about 
1 o'clock of Wednesday, April 4th, 1888, from the 
effects of several wounds produced by a sharp 
pointed pocket knife in the hands of her husband, 
James H. Howe." 

That evening at 8 o'clock the electric lights were 
cut out and the entire city plunged into darkness. 
Then a band of men, some of them masked, gathered 
at the jail, a small stone structure which stood at the 
southeast corner of Court square. Not a word was 
spoken. After placing Sheriff Davy and his aids un- 
der guard, an assault was made upon the jail into 
which an entrance was soon gained. The large 
iron doors which separated the cell corridor from 
the office, offered some resistance, but with cold 
chisel and hammer, the lock bolts were cut and the 
door was swung open. The same means were 
taken to open the door of the cell in which Howe 
was confined and within fifteen minutes from the 
time the crowd gathered at the jail the sought for 
victim was within their grasp. Shrinking and terri- 
fied with fear and piteously crying for mercy, the 
miserable wretch was rushed to a derrick, standing 
at the south end of the new court house, which 
had been used in lowering large blocks of flagging 
stone into the basement for the new jail floor. A 
rope with noose adjusted had already been placed in 
position and under this, Howe, still begging for 
mercy, was led. The noose was adjusted about his 
neck and a score of men gave a lurch on the rope and 
the body of the cruel wife murderer shot up into the 
air like a rocket. His struggles were of short dura- 
tion. After life was extinct the crowd dispersed in 

[US] 



a quiet manner. The electric lights were again 
turned on and the business of the city resumed. 

On being notified of what had taken place Cor- 
oner Miller summoned a second jury of inquest 
which returned the following verdict: 

"Said jurors upon their oaths do say: J. H. 
Howe was found hanging to a derrick about 9:30 
p. m. of April 4th, 1888. He came to his death at 
the hands of an infuriated and unknown mob by 
hanging. Signed, George W. Seibert, Arthur F. 
Brown, Henry J. Wilterding, Robert Edwards, J. 
T. Murphy and C. Rugh." 

This ended the first and only instance in the 
history of the county up to this time, in which the 
mandates of Judge Lynch were duly and summarliy 
executed, and absolute, though, perhaps irregular 
justice was meted out to a man who had defied the 
laws of God and man in shedding innocent blood. 

Mrs. Howe's body was shipped to the home of her 
parents, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Vanderwark, at Can- 
nington, Ontario. The little five year old daugh- 
ter and only child of Mr. and Mrs. Howe was taken 
back to the home of its grandparents in Canada. 

When in his cups Howe shamefully abused and 
mistreated his wife. He went home only the even- 
ing before in a state of beastly intoxication and 
threatened to kill her then. The next morning, on 
the day of the tragedy, she pleaded with him to 
stay at home and not go upon the street but without 
avail. Fearing that her life would be in danger if 
he came home drunk again, she began packing her 
own and little daughter's clothing in a trunk prepar- 
atory to leaving the house, not expecting him to re- 
turn before a late hour in the night. He came 
home, however, shortly after 12 o'clock and found 
her making preparations to leave him which so en- 
raged him that he killed her. It was evidently a 
cold blooded premeditated murder, as it was testi- 
fied at the inquest that he was not drunk when he 
left the saloon to go home. Until he began to go 
down hill through thirst for liquor, he seemed to be 
very much attached to his wife and daughter and 
both he and his wife moved in the best social cir- 
cles. But the demon drink had transformed him 
into a brute and he met what he deserved, an ig- 
nominious death at the hands of a mob. 

Three More Early Day Tragedies — 
Killing of Tom Burris 

During the spring round-up of 1875, there oc- 
cured on the Platte below the town of Evans, one of 
those deplorable tragedies that frequently stained the 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



good name of a community in the early days, ' in 
which one man was killed and another will carry to 
his grave the recollection of having taken the life of 
a human being, although in defense of his own life. 
The principals to this unfortunate affair were Tom 
Burris, the victim, and John Suiter, the slayer. 
Though the tragedy occurred in Weld county, the 
principals were both well known Larimer county 
men, and the affair excited a great deal of local in- 
terest. Burris was a stockman and lived at that 
time on the place now owned and occupied by L. E. 
Parker, near Timnath. Suiter was a young man 
whose home was with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. 
Peter Suiter, who were among the early settlers of 
the Harmony neighborhood, and is a brother of 
Alderman Ed. T. Suiter of this city. Inordinate 
doses of Evans whiskey was the immediate cause 
of the shooting, which resulted in the death of 
Burris, but it was believed that it was only a ques- 
tion of time when the victim would be either Burris 
or Suiter, as the two men were known to be at 
enmity and that Burris had frequently threatened 
Suiter's life. Burris had the reputation of being a 
bad man, especially when in liquor, and far too 
handy with his gun for the peace and safety of 
those near him when he was intoxicated. On the 
day of the tragedy Burris left the round-up camp 
and went to Evans where he proceeded to fill up on 
fighting whiskey and some of the men who were 
with him knowing of his ungovernable temper and 
quarrelsome disposition when in liquor, secretly 
took his revolver and refused to return it when he 
realized his loss. This put Burris in bad temper 
and he had no sooner gotten back to camp than he 
began to pick a quarrel with a cripple named 
Johnson. But a few words had passed between 
the two men before Burris drew a bowie knife and 
started for Johnson, who ran around the other side 
of the camp wagon to get away from the infuriated 
and drink-crazed man. It happened that Suiter 
was on the opposite side of the covered wagon op- 
posite Burris when the quarrel began. He stood 
between the front wheel and the body and was 
in the act of reaching into the wagon after supplies 
to cook for supper. As Johnson, who was being 
chased by Burris, came around the wagon he called 
to Suiter to head off his pursuer. When Burris 
saw Suiter wedge'd in between the wheel and wagon 
body with his back toward him, he gave up the chase 
after Johnson and made straight for Suiter with 
his knife held in a threatening attitude. Suiter 
paid no attention to Burris until the latter grabbed 



him by the coat collar and back of the neck. Then 
he drew his revolver and throwing it over his 
shoulder fired without looking around, the bullet 
striking Burris in the chin and passing through his 
neck dislocated his spine at the base of the brain. 
At the moment that Suiter fired, Burris had his 
knife raised with the evident intention of plunging 
it into the former's neck, but the bullet got in its 
work first. Burris lived several hours afterward, 
and just before his death he requested someone to 
pull off his boots so that his father's prophecy, made 
when Tom was a boy, that he would some day die 
with his boots on, should not come true. Suiter 
was promptly arrested and given a preliminary hear- 
ing before a Greeley justice of the peace, who 
bound him over to the District court for trial in 
the sum of $10,000. The bond, signed by nearly 
all of the stockmen of the county, was presented to 
the court and Suiter was released from custody to 
await the action of the grand jury. When court 
convened in the fall the grand jury, after a thorough 
investigation, refused to find a true bill against the 
slayer of Burris and he was exonerated from the 
charge and set at liberty — thus ending a case in 
which the sympathies of almost the entire popula- 
tion of Northern Colorado were enlisted in behalf 
of Suiter, who in taking Burris' life was simply de- 
fending his own. Mr. Suiter is now a prominent 
citizen of Montana, whither he went several years 
ago. 

Postmaster Bariaut Killed 

On the 4th of March, 1886, James C. Robertson, 
a young ranchman living on Upper Boxelder creek, 
about 45 miles northwest of Fort Collins, shot An- 
thony Bariaut, who died a few hours later. Bari- 
aut was postmaster at Boxelder and on the morning 
of the day stated, Robertson went to the postofKce to 
get his mail. Robertson and Bariaut got into an 
altercation over an old misunderstanding, during 
which Bariaut said "I will shoot you." He went to 
a back room of his house and returned with a gun 
which he placed to his face in an attitude of shoot- 
ing. Robertson, on the alert, drew his revolver and 
shot three times, only two of bullets taking effect, 
one in the abdomen and the other in the shoulder. 
Bariaut died on Saturday, March 6th, and Robert- 
son came to Fort Collins on the following day and 
surrendered himself to Sheriff Love. He asked for 
an investigation, and on Monday, March 8th, 
Coroner I. N. Thomas, accompanied by Dr. Geo. E. 
Bristol county physician. Deputy District Attorney 
Knud Patton, Deputy Sheriff Zook in charge of 

[119] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNT Y 



COLORADO 



Robertson, and Judge T. M. Robinson, attorney 
for the self accused man, went to Boxelder to hold 
an inquest. A jury composed of W. H. Bassett, W. 
J. Logan, W. W. Pogue, Dan T. Scully, J. Stout, 
and Isaac Adair was summoned by the coroner and 
at once proceeded to inquire into the cause or 
causes of the tragedy. After hearing all the evi- 
dence adduced, the jury returned a verdict that the 
deceased came to his death through a pistol shot 
fired by James C. Robertson in self defense. It 
was shown at the inquest that Bariaut was a quarrel- 
some man, who shot on short notice, and that he 
had threatened to kill Robertson. The incident 
created a good deal excitement in the neighborhood 
at the time. Bariaut was indicted in 1882 by the 
grand jury for assault to commit murder, but was 
permitted to plead guilty to the charge of assault 
and was fined $100 and costs. 

Murder of Stephen McDonald 

On the 6th of December, 1886, Stephen Mc- 
Donald, a sheepherder in the employ of William B. 
Miner at the latter's ranch twelve miles northwest 
of Fort Collins, was shot and killed while in charge 
of a flock of 2,000 sheep on the prairie about four- 
teen miles north of Fort Collins, by Adam Freder- 
icks, who lived on the Boxelder two miles up the 
creek from Bristol station. Mr. McDonald's sheep 
came to the corrals on the home place at night un- 
attended, and a search for the herder was at once 
instituted. The body was discovered by the aid of 
McDonald's faithful dog which had remained at 
the side of his dead master all throughout the after- 
noon and until a late hour at night. Fredericks was 
arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to life im- 
prisonment in the state penitentiary. The evidence 
adduced at the trial, though circumstantial, was 
thoroughly convincing. McDonald had married 
Lulu Coy, a step-daughter of Frederick's, but the 
union was not a happy one and the shooting grew 
out of family difficulties. 

Indians Kill Lieutenant Collins 

The Overland road along the North Platte, from 
the junction of the South Platte, was during the 
summer of 1865 the scene of many conflicts and 
much carnage between the troops stationed along the 
line and the blood-thirsty savages. A large force 
of Indians, numbering three or four hundred, col- 
lected 4t Platte Bridge, near where the city of 
Casper, Wyoming, is now, and threatened the safety 

[120] 



of a train that was coming down the river from 
Fort Bridger. Casper W. Collins, son of Colonel 
W. O. Collins, who had just been promoted to a 
first lieutenancy, volunteered to take command of 
a party of soldiers and attack the Indians and drive 
them off. Lieutenant Collins was a young man 
twenty years of age, and his friends tried to dissuade 
him from the undertaking, but he persisted and led 
the attack. The fight was a sharp one and the 
troops being greatly outnumbered, were driven back 
with a loss of more than half of the soldiers either 
killed or wounded. While the troops were falling 
back in an effort to escape, one of the soldiers was 
wounded and fell from his horse, but he called out 
to his comrades, "Don't leave me, don't leave me." 
Collins turned his horse and rode to the place where 
the wounded man was lying, but his horse becoming 
unmanageable, ran away with him, going at a fear- 
ful rate toward's Red Cloud's band of Sioux. The 
powerful grey horse soon bore his rider right among 
the hostiles who surrounded and killed him. A 
few days later, after the Indians had been driven 
away by a stronger force, Lieutenant Collins' body 
was found about a mile and a half from the spot 
where he turned to rescue the wounded trooper. 
The body had been stripped of the bright new uni- 
form which he had put on after his muster as first 
lieutenant at Fort Laramie, only a few days before. 
The body was buried at the Fort. A year later it 
was shipped to his native town in Ohio and interred 
in the family burying ground. The city of Casper 
was named in his honor, even as the city of Fort 
Collins was named in honor of his gallant father. 
Colonel W. O. Collins. 

Death of Col. Collins 

The following letter written by Mrs. Catherine 
W. Collins, widow of the late Col. William O. 
Collins, to friends in Fort Collins tells of the death 
of her gallant husband. 

"Hillsborough, Ohio, 
Gentlemen: — May 8th, 1881. 

My beloved husband, Col. William Oliver Col- 
lins, died October 26th, 1880. He was indeed an 
honored resident of Hillsborough, Ohio. He would 
have been extremely gratified to have learned that 
the "little post" he established away out on the 
frontier in 1864, was so prosperous. I have often 
thought of sending a notice of his death to Fort 
Collins, but did not know whom to address. There 
must still be living in Colorado and Wyoming some 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



who cherish a memory of his warm, generous nature, 
or men connected with his regiment that will recall 
his faithful discharge of duties as colonel, and his 
readiness to brave every danger that they were 
called upon to meet. Will you be good enough to 
have a notice of his death inserted in the Courier. 
I thank you sincerely for the number you sent me of 
that paper, published in your town and am sure 
Fort Collins must be a thriving and highly moral 
place. 

Respectfully, 
Catherine W. Collins. 

Assessments and Taxes 

The first assessor to make the rounds of Larimer 
county is said to have found $6,000 worth of prop- 
erty subject to taxation. This was in 1862, shortly 
after the county had been created and ett off by 
the Territorial Legislature. The records do not 
show that any taxes were levied that year, as, in- 
deed there could not have been for the reason that 
the board of county commissioners appointed by 
Governor Gilpin failed to organize and therefore 
had no authority to order a levy. It was not until 
three years later, in 1865, the year immediately 
following the complete organization of the county 
for judicial purposes that an assessment was made, 
and the assessor that year found property to the 
value of $168,167.50 subject to taxation. Upon 
that assessment a levy of 23 mills for all purposes 
was made and collected. The abstract of that 
year's assessment, showing the character and species 
of property assessed, follows: 

Value of improvements on public lands $21,733.00 

Value of hay, grain, etc 3,980.00 

Value of clocks and watches 500.50 

Average value of merchandise for preceding 12 

months 9,580.00 

Monies and credits 26,576.00 

Stocks, shares, etc 1,428.00 

289 wagons and vehicles 8,455.00 

217 horses 22,330.00 

27 mules 4,100.00 

I asses • ■ 50.00 

450 oxen 24,040.00 

819 cows 26,550.00 

728 calves and yearlings 9,857.00 

524 sheep 1,834.00 

21 swine 279.00 

All other personal property 6,864.00 

Total $168,167.50 

To the list returned by the assessor the county 
treasurer added the following names and the taxes 
assessed against them: Joseph Armajoe, $11.12; 
William Adolph, $9.40; George F. Brigham, 



$15.15; Ben Claymore, $30.10; Robert Dickson, 
$4.80; George Frankford, $2.50; Gill & Goodrich, 
$9.37; John Hutchinson, $2.50; Michael Jones, 
$17.10; Antoine Lebeau, $10.78; Clement Lamory, 
$20.90; John Steed, $3.65; Wm. E. Thomas, 
$5.95; C. A. Whedbee, $11.47; Joseph Hazard, 
$2.50. These names of tax-payers had evidently 
been overlooked by the assessor. These added 
taxes amounted to $157.29 and were apportioned 
to the following funds : County poll, $32 ; military 
poll, $8 ; general fund, including territorial tax, 
$117.29. 

The records in the offices of the county clerk, as- 
sessor and county treasurer for the years 1865 
and 1866, regarding the assessment, collection and 
distribution of taxes, are incomplete and it does not 
appear that a regular assessment roll for either of 
those years was made up and recorded in a book. 
The tax lists were made out on foolscap paper from 
schedules gathered by the assessor. Only three of 
the schedules for 1865 have been preserved and 
they are: John J. Ryan, who lists $1,926.00; 
Peter Anderson, who lists $526.00 ; C. C. Hawley, 
who lists $863.00. 

The first county warrant drawn upon the treas- 
urer was made out in favor of Henry Arrison, from 
whom the board of county commissioners had pur- 
chased a log building for the use of the county 
officers, for the sum of $150. This log building 
stood a few rods south of the present store and 
postoffice at Laporte. After the county seat had 
been removed to Fort Collins this building was 
taken down, moved to the south side of the river 
and rebuilt. It is now a part of Preston A. Taft's 
home. The warrant drawn to pay Arrison for this 
building is in words and figures as follows: 

$150.00. "Treasurer's Department. 

To the Treasurer of Larimer County: 
Pay to Henry Arrison, or order, one hundred and 
fifty dollars, on account of building in Laporte for 
County purposes, out of any money in the treasury 
not otherwise appropriated, and charge the same to 
Auditor and this shall be your voucher. 

Issued April 23, 1865. 
Attest: J. E. Wild, Chairman of the Board of 
County Commissioners. 

H. W. Chamberlin^ 

County Clerk." 

The tax list for 1866 was made out on four 
sheets of legal cap paper, fastened together with 
narrow pink ribbon, and, although somewhat faded 
by age is still legible. As an index of financial 



[121] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



conditions as they existed in those days and because 
it contains many names that are familiar to a num- 
ber of the present residents of the county, it is 
herewith copied at length. It is headed, "Tax List 
for 1866, Larimer County, Colorado Territory." 

The list follows: . ^ 

Assessment Tax 

G. C. Amer $100.00 $ 1.35 

Allen & Mason 36,304 263.40 

J. L. Allen 857 11.69 

Phillip Allen 405 5.47 

Ezekiel Allen 55 72 

Abner Allen 170 2.28 

Peter Anderson 526 7.10 

Jas. S. Arthur 595 8.03 

John Arthur 3,320 44.82 

Jas. B. Arthur 2,418 32.64 

Amer & Heath 2,602 35.13 

Geo. E. Buss 442 5.97 

Rock Bush 1,400 18.90 

Sam'l Bingham 648 8.75 

John R. Brown 708 9.49 

Reed Berry 315 4.20 

W. H. Bacon 647 9.10 

Bartholf & Brugh 365 4.93 

Bennett & Davis 1,052 14.10 

J. D. Bartholf 2,349 31.68 

W. A. Bean 1,435 19.37 

John Baxter 928 12.53 

Henry Clayton 100 

Claymore & Provost 700 9.45 

Abijah Chambers 150 2.03 

Thomas Callan 100 1.35 

H. B. Chubbuck 1,842 24.87 

E. D. Clark 287 3.87 

Jas. T. Carwile 415 5.60 

Thomas Cross 1,495 21.68 

A. R. Chaffee 2,030 27.40 

Chaffee & Crary 4,020 54.27 

John Colomb 1,520 20.52 

John G. Coy 605 8.16 

Thomas Cline 354 4.79 

Norton Cooper 418 5.64 

H. W. Chamberlin 2,030 27.40 

William Cosslett 168 2.27 

Benj. Claymore 772 10.42 

John Dillon 2,066 27.82 

Daniel Davis 820 11.07 

Ebenezer Davis 2,377 32.08 

John Davis 597 8.06 

Simon Duncan 1,440 19.44 

E. P. Drake 886 11.76 

Misha Duval 325 4.39 

Peter Decona 525 7.09 

James Dickerson 1,200 16.20 

L. G. Davis 175 . 2.36 

J. M. Eaglin 827 11.16 

David Earhart 170 2.30 

Fletcher Earnest 260 3.25 

Joseph Felteau 950 12.83 

Henry Forbes 983 13.27 

Sebastian Foster 2,395 32.33 

A. R. Foster 623 8.41 

Glenn & Talpey 4,025 54.34 

Frank Gard 3,013 40.68 

Clinton Graham 260 3.57 

Gill & Goodrich 965 13.03 

Charley George 200 2.70 

Holladay O. M. & Ex. Co 18,880 

James Hildreth 835 11.27 

[122] 



Hopkins & Anderson 1,060 14.31 

J. B. Hart 351 4.74 

C. C. Hawley 863 11.65 

N. J. Hollowell & Bro 1,596 21.46 

Hilton & Co 2,567 34.42 

C. M. Hayden 290 3.68 

C. W. Hovyell 550 7.49 

John Hahn 2,791 40.38 

John Henderson 300 4.05 

Alfred Howard 1,215 16.40 

David Hershman 635 8.57 

Hershman & Bro 500 6.75 

E. G. Howard 155 2.07 

Abner Loomis 4,106 55.43 

Antoine Lanham 456 6.16 

C. C. Lawson 105 1.42 

Geo. L. Luce 1,927 26.01 

Charles P. Lee 520 7.12 

Loomis & Whedbee 630 8.50 

Geo. W. Leslie 80 1.08 

Antoine Lebeau 575 7.35 

Revilo Loveland 545 7.35 

Joseph Musgrove 487 6.03 

Mobrey, Mclntyre & Co 385 5.20 

Mariana Modena 7,210 97.33 

Joseph Markley 1,529 20.64 

H. G. McCon 285 3.85 

John Maddox & Bro 1,341 18.09 

N. H. Meldrum 810 10.94 

Oliver Morisette 420 5.67 

Wallis Manville 880 11.87 

Melanguy & Co 1,598 21.54 

T. R. McBride 210 

David Notman 1,596 21.45 

Wm. B. Osborn 3,770 58.88 

Peter Onley 305 3.12 

Parish & Desinine 1,255 16.94 

Frank Prager 1,719 23.20 

F.D.Peterson 530 7.05 

H. C. Peterson 605 8.17 

Joseph Prendergast 675 9.11 

Adolph Pillier 730 9.99 

John B. Provost 260 3.57 

Joseph Rist 2,430 32.70 

John J. Ryan 3,338 45.06 

Elijah Randall 630 8.50 

Smith & Knott 823 11.13 

A. M. Severance 1,300 17.55 

C. C. Smith 240 3.24 

Harry Samuel 4,710 63.56 

William Samuel 195 2.63 

Joseph Shilton 115 1.55 

J. M. & S. W. Smith 5,040 68.04 

Wm. Sherman 795 10.63 

E. C. Smith 482 6.46 

Elizabeth Stone 1,160 15.66 

Francisco Salaria 616 8.31 

Stone & Heath 445 6.00 

Ezekiel Stone 60 81 

G. R. Strauss 1,187 16.02 

J. M. & F. W. Sherwood 5,500 74.25 

T. M. Smith 675 9.08 

Taylor & Smith 4,953 66.86 

E. S. Thorp & Bro 1,297 17.56 

W. 0. Tuttle 715 9.15 

S. A. Tombs 80 1.08 

W. D. W. Taft & Bro 2,285 30.84 

B. T. Whedbee 4,445 60.00 

D. M. Walker 1,100 14.85 

J. E. Washburn 1,925 28.88 

J. E. Wild 13,725 175.28 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



William Whitcomb 6,250 84.37 

Rufus Wygal S70 7.69 

J. H. Yeager 2,000 27.00 

Young & Decona 2,875 38.81 

A. K. Yount 3,646 49.22 

William James 

Thomas Johnson 1,555 20.94 

Antoine Janis 1,367 18.45 

Michael Jones 2,687 32.27 

It must be remembered that when the foregoing 
list was made out there was not an acre of patented 
land in the county subject to taxation, and that the 
list embraced only improvements on public lands, 
personal property, etc. Up to the year 1865, no 
taxes of any kind were levied in this county, all 
who were residents previous to that date escaping a 
visit from the assessor and the county collector. 

From 1865 down to 1872, the assessor kept no 
record save and except the tax schedules he took in 
listing the property of the taxpayers. These were 
not transcribed in a book, but were tied up in 
bundles, each year by itself, and the bundles laid 
away. From these schedules the county clerk 
extended the taxes on sheets of paper, fastened 
together with baby ribbon and the tax list thus 
made out was turned over to the county treasurer 
who charged himself with the full amount named 
therein and proceeded to collect from individual 
taxpayers named in the list the sums charged against 
them. These lists have been preserved in the 
county treasurer's office and are open to inspec- 
tion. From 1872 down to the present time a com- 
plete record has been kept of assessments, tax lists 
and collections for each year, all in a systematic and 
businesslike manner. 

The following table shows the value of the prop- 
erty assessed and the total amount of taxes levied 
thereon for each year from 1872 to 1909, inclusive: 

Assessed Valuation Total 

Year of Property Tax 

1872 $ 807,345 $ 12,110.17 

1873 800,690 13,830.88 

1874 910,229 19,633.25 

1875 1,124,110 19,915.89 

1876 1,025,180 14,430.70 

1877 996,975 22,430.85 

1878 1,504,010 24,793.70 

1879 1,737,905 35,688.03 

1880 2,078,945 47,905.46 

1881 2,290,350 51,140.70 

1882 3,005,260 75,141.35 

1883 3,012,040 93,103.57 

1884 3,232,695 103,695.00 

1885 3,879,875 120,011.64 

1886 4,056,595 104,824.01 

1887 4,627,725 136,211.09 

1888 4,532,550 132,731.14 

1889 4,319,530 131,465.58 

1890 4,424,420 131,179.09 

1891 4,352,225 153,501.03 

1892 5,131,680 173,093.28 



1893 4,514,875 147,107.19 

1894 4,286,350 149,135.01 

1895 4,154,632 147,528.92 

1896 3,938,499 148,419.87 

1897 4,211,449 159,158.67 

1898 4,332,668 158,250.33 

1899 4,428,227 160,478.65 

1900 4,397,900 166,911.95 

1901 5,850,225 216,172.77 

1902 5,989,642 235,016.35 

1903 6,525,150 257,092.09 

1904 7,334,624 373,990.74 

1905 7,556,772 345,159.78 

1906 8,032,273 352,385.93 

1907 8,513,137 456,619.26 

1908 9,798,065 464,573.60 

1909 9,171,190 443,333.01 

The total value of assessable property as re- 
turned by the county assessor in 1865, the first 
year in which a legal assessment was made, was 
$168,167.50. These figures represent the full cash 
value of the property assessed, which included im- 
provements on public lands and personal property. 
Not an acre of land was taxable that year as the 
title still remained in the government. It was not 
until 1868 that lands began to be assessed and taxed, 
and then only a few tracts which had been patented 
were entered on the assessment roll. By way of 
comparison and also to show the growth of the 
county and the increase in taxable property since 
1865, the following abstract of the assessment for 
1909 is herewith given: 

Abstract of Assessment of Larimer 

County, Colorado, for the 

Year 1909 

111,205 acres of agricultural land $2,327,575 

448,698 acres of grazing land 691,295 

6,912 acres of meadow land 39,915 

1,006 acres of mineral land 6,570 

Improvements on lands and kinds thereof 1,221,700 

Improvements on public lands 19,425 

Town and city lots 1,161,525 

Improvements on same 1,480,420 

91.68 miles of railroads, as returned by the state 

board of equalization 625,870 

Other railroad property 121,153 

126.00 miles of telegraph lines 4,200 

511,293 miles of telephone lines 89,107 

50.09 miles of Express Co 4,510 

Average value of merchandise 393,790 

Average amount of capital employed in manu- 
factures 101,180 

9,948 horses 328,830 

516 mules 21,735 

18,965 cattle 186,605 

5,656 sheep 11,515 

1,726 swine 7,805 

159 other animals 2,845 

985 musical instruments 57,835 

742 clocks and watches 6,380 

Jewelry, etc 965 

Moneys and credits 35,875 

[123] 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



4,270 carriages and vehicles 110,090 

Household property (over and above exemption) 306,565 

All other property 108,045 

Bank stocks and shares 317,350 

Total valuation $9,681,675 

Deduct the amount of exemption per constitu- 
tional amendment 510,485 

Total net assessment 9,171,190 

Number of military polls 2,254 

Valuation and Tax of County and 
Cities and Towns 

Valuation Tax 

County of Larimer $9,171,190 $168,749.89 

City of Fort Collins 2,250,851 41,640.74 

City of Loveland 914,150 17,368.85 

Town of Berthoud 197,089 3,153.42 

Town of Wellington 112,631 3,153.67 

In the early history of the county property 
assessed for taxation was placed upon the roll at its 
full cash value, while at the present time it is 
assessed at about one-third its cash value. Upon 
that basis the real value of the taxable property in 
the county in 1909 was $28,513,570, as compared 
with $168,167.50 in 1865. The exemption noted 
in the foregoing abstract embraces household fur- 
niture of a less value than $200, which every house- 
holder is entitled to, free from taxation. 

List of County Officers From 1864 
to 1910 

List of county officers elected and appointed 
from the organization of the county in 1864 to 
January 1st, 1910, showing also beginning and end 
of service: 

1864 to 1866 — Abner Loomis, County Commis- 
sioner. 

1864 to 1867— William A. Bean, County Com- 
missioner. 

1864 to 1865 — John Heath, County Commis- 
sioner. 

1864 to 1866— John E. Washburn, Probate 
Judge. 

1864 to 1866 — Henry Arrison, Sheriff. 

1864 to 1866— B. T. Whedbee, County Treas- 
urer. 

1864 to 1866— H. W. Chamberlin, County 
Clerk. 

1864 to 1866— H. B. Chubbuck, County Super- 
intendent. 

1864 to 1866 — James M. Smith, Assessor. 

1865 to 1868 — J. B. Arthur, County Commis- 
sioner. 

[124] 



1866 to 

sioner. 
1866 to 
1866 to 
1866 to 
1866 to 

urer. 
1866 to 

1866 to 
intendent. 

1867 to 
missioner. 

1868 to 
1868 to 

urer. 
1868 to 
1868 to 

intendent. 
1868 to 
to 

pointed Co 
1868 to 
1868 to 

sioner. 
1870 to 

missioner. 
1870 to 
1870 to 

Clerk. 
1870 to 
1870 to 
1870 to 

1870 to 
urer. 

1871 to 
missioner. 

1872 to 
1872 to 
1872 to 

urer. 
1872 to 
1872 to 
1872 to 
1874 to 

sioner. 
1874 to 
1874 to 

urer. 
1874 to 
1874 to 
1874 to 

intendent. 
1874 to 



1869 — Abner Loomis, County Commis- 

1868— J. M. Sherwood, Probate Judge. 
1868— Edward C. Smith, County Clerk. 
1868— H. B. Chubbuck, Sheriff. 
1868— B. T. Whedbee, County Treas- 

1868 — James M. Smith, Assessor. 
1868— H. B. Chubbuck, County Super- 

1870— William A. Bean, County Com- 

1870— H. B. Chubbuck, Sheriff. 
1870— B. T. Whedbee, County Treas- 

1870— J. C. Matthews, County Clerk. 
1870 — ^James M. Smith, County Super- 

1870 — ^William D. Hayes, Assessor. 
1870— July 11, Jesse H. Keist ap- 
unty Surveyor. 

1870— A. F. Howes, Probate Judge. 
1871 — J. B. Arthur, County Commis- 

1873 — Lorenzo Snyder, County Com- 

1872— P. D. McClanahan, Sheriff. 
1872— H. W. Chamberlin, County 

1872 — James M. Eaglin, Surveyor. 
1872 — C. C. Hawley, Assessor. 
1872— A. K. Yount, Probate Judge. 
1872— B. T. Whedbee, County Treas- 

1874 — F. W. Sherwood, County Com- 



1874 — Joseph Mason, Sheriff. 
1874— J. C. Matthews, County Clerk. 
1874— T. M. Smith, County Treas- 

1874 — F. C. Avery, Surveyor. 
1874 — N. H. Meldrum, Assessor. 
1874— A. F. Howes, Probate Judge. 
1877 — J. G. Coy, County Commis- 

1876— Joseph Mason, Sheriff. 

1876— W. B. Osborn, County Treas- 

1876— A. H. Patterson, County Clerk. 
1876 — Jack Dow, County Surveyor. 
1876 — R. W. Bosworth, County Super- 

1876 — H. B. Chubbuck, Assessor. 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



1874 to 1876 — J. E. Remington, Probate Judge. 

1875 to 1878 — Noah Bristol, County Commis- 
sioner. 

1876 to 1879 — Lewis Cross, County Commis- 
sioner. 

1876 to 1877— W. B. Osbom, County Treas- 
urer. 

1876 to 1877— C. P. Scott, County Clerk. 

1876 to 1877— Jack Dow, Surveyor. 

1876 to 1877 — Joseph Murray, Assessor. 

1876 to 1877 — Jay H. Bouton, County Judge. 

1876 to 1877— Marcus Coon, Sheriff. 

1878 to 1881— Revilo Lovland, County Com- 
missioner. 

1878 to 1880— James Sweeney, Sheriff. 

1878 to 1880— Albert B. Tomlin, County 
Treasurer. 

18/8 to 1880— C. P. Scott, County Clerk. 

1878 to 1880— Jack Dow, Surveyor. 

1878 to 1880— E. N. Garbutt, County Super- 
intendent. 

1878 to 1880— E. Z. Hills, Assessor (Died in 
office and W. B. Osborn appointed. 

1878 to 1881— Jay H. Bouton, County Judge. 

1879 to 1882— William B. Miner, County Com- 
missioner. 

1880 — W. C. Stephenson, Coronor, 
(appointed). 

1880 — W. B. Osborn, Assessor (appointed). 

1880 to 1883— A. S. Benson, County Com- 
missioner. 

1880 to 1882— C. P. Scott, County Clerk. 

1880 to 1882— James Sweeney, Sheriff. 

1880 to 1882— Russel Fisk, Coroner. 

1880 to 1882— E. N. Garbutt, County Treas- 
urer. 

1880 to 1882— W. B. Sutherland, County Super- 
intendent. 

1880 to 1882— F. C. Avery, County Surveyor 
(resigned.) 

1880 to 1882 — Lewis Kern, Assessor. 

1881 to 1883— H. P. Handy, County Sur- 
veyor (appointed.) 

1881 to 188^1 — L. E. Denslow, County Judge; 
Died before taking oiSce, and T. M. Robinson ap- 
pointed Jan. 11. 1881. 

1881 to 188-^1 — Noah Bristol, County Commis- 
sioner. 

1882 to 1884— John H. Nelson, Surveyor. 
1882 to 1885— T. M. Robinson, County Judge. 
1882 to 1885— Henry T Miller, County Com- 
missioner. 



1882 to 1884 — T. J. Montgomery, County 
Clerk. 

1882 to 1884 — ^James Sweeney, Sheriff. 

1882 to 1884 — George S. Thompson, County 
Superintendent. 

1882 to 1884— Ed. N. Garbutt, County Treas- 
urer. 

1882 to 1884— C. H. Marsh, Coroner. 

1882 to 1884 — H. S. Youtsey, Assessor. 

1883 to 1886— John B. Harbaugh, County Com- 
missioner. 

1882 to 1884— A. Q. McGregor, County Judge. 

1883 to 1885- W. W. Cole, Coroner. 

1884 to 1886— T. J. Montgomery, County 
Clerk. 

1884 to 1887— Jefferson McAnelly, County 
Judge. 

1884 to 1886— E. N. Garbutt, County Treas- 
urer. 

1884 to 1886— John H. Nelson, Surveyor. 

1884 to 1886— W. H. McCreery, County Super- 
intendent. 

1884 to 1886— H. S. Youtsey, Assessor. 

1884 to 1887— David Patton, County Commis- 
sioner. 

1884 to 1886 — James Sweeney, Sheriff. 

1884 to 1886— C. H. Marsh, Coroner. 

1885 to 1888— W. P. Bosworth, County Com- 
missioner. 

1886 to 1888— J. E. DuBois, County Clerk. 
1886 to 1888— Eph Love, Sheriff. 

1886 to 1888—1. N. Thomas, Coroner. 

1886 to 1888— A. A. Edwards, County Treas- 
urer. 

1886 to 1888— W. H. McCreery, County Super- 
intendent. 

1886 to 1888 — Emil Loescher, Surveyor. 

1886 to 1888— T. A. Gage, Assessor. 

1886 to 1889— A. S. Benson, County Commis- 
sioner. 

1887 to 1890— Jefferson McAnelly, County 
Judge. 

1887 to 1890— H. H. Scott, County Commis- 



1888 to 1890- 
1888 to 1890- 
1888 to 1890- 
1888 to 1890- 

urer. 

1888 to 1890- 

tendent. 

1888 to 1890- 
1888 to 1890- 



-J. E. DuBois, County Clerk. 

-T. H. Davy, Sheriff. 

-C. P. Miller, Coroner. 

—A. A. Edwards, County Treas- 

-S. T. Hamilton, County Superin- 

-Emil Loescher, Surveyor. 
—Abraham Lefever, Assessor. 



[125] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



1888 to 1891— T. B. Bishopp, County Commis- 
sioner. 

1889 to 1892— Frank G. Bartholf, County 
Commissioner. 

1890 to 1893— H. I. Garbutt, County Judge. 
1890 to 1892— J. T. Budrow, County Clerk. 
1890 to 1892— T. H. Davy, Sheriff. 

1890 to 1892— W. T. Gough, Coroner. 
1890 to 1892— F. P. Stover, County Treasurer. 
1890 to 1892— S. T. Hamilton, County Super- 
intendent. 

1890 to 1892— A. E. Sprague, Surveyor. 
1890 to 1892— A. Lafever, Assessor. 

1890 to 1893— F. R. Baker, County Commis- 
sioner. 

1891 to 1894— George F. Scott, County Com- 
missioner. 

1892 to 1894— J. T. Budrow, County Clerk. 
1892 to 1894— W. T. Branson, Sheriff. 
1892 to 1894— Walter Gough, Coroner. 

1892 to 1894— F. P. Stover, County Treasurer. 
1892 to 1894— S. T. Hamilton, County Super- 
intendent. 

1892 to 1894— William Rist, Surveyor. 
1892 to 1894— D. A. Weaver, Assessor. 

1892 to 1895— W. R. Thornton, County Com- 
missioner. 

1893 to 1894— F. P. Stover, County Treas- 
urer. 

1893 to 1896— Jay H. Bouton, County Judge. 

1893 to 1896— John G. Coy, County Commis- 
sioner. 

1894 to 1897— Jay H. Swan, County Commis- 
sioner. 

1894 to 1896— Frank D. Abbott, County Clerk. 

1894 to 1896— W. T. Branson, Sheriff. 

1894 to 1896— Walter Gough, Coroner. 

1894 to 1896— John L. Thomas, County Treas- 
urer. 

1894 to 1896— S. T. Hamilton, County Super- 
intendent. 

1894 to 1896— William Rist, Surveyor. 

1894 to 1896 — David A. Weaver, Assessor. 

1894 to 1895— F. N. B. Scott, County Com- 
missioner. 

1895 to 1896 — Frank Baxter, County Commis- 
sioner. 

1895 to 1898— A. F. Brown, County Commis- 
sioner. 

1896 to 1899— Frank E. Baxter, County Com- 
missioner. 

1896 to 1899— George W. Bailey, County 
Judge. 

[126] 



1896 to 1898— F. D. Abbott, County Clerk. 

1896 to 1898— J. L. Thomas, County Treas- 
urer. 

1896 to 1898— C. H. Bond, Sheriff. 

1896 to 1898— J. M. McCreery, Assessor. 

1896 to 1898— Etta Wilson, County Superin- 
tendent. 

1896 to 1898— D. A. McLean, Coroner. 

1896 to 1898— William Rist, Surveyor. 

1897 to 1900— F. W. Sherwood, County Com- 
missioner. 

1898 to 1901— John Hahn, County Commis- 
sioner. 

1898 to 1900— H. E. Tedmon, County Clerk. 

1898 to 1900— H. S. Youtsey, County Treas- 
urer. 

1898 to 1900— C. H. Bond, Sheriff. 

1898 to 1900— J. M. McCreery, Assessor. 

1898 to 1900— Etta Wilson, County Superin- 
tendent. 

1898 to 1900— Walter Gough, Coroner. 

1898 to 1900— William Rist, Surveyor. 

1899 to 1902— J. Mack Mills, County Judge. 

1899 to 1902— Aaron Kitchel, County Commis- 
sioner. 

1900 to 1903 — J. H. Sargisson, County Commis- 
sioner. 

1900 to 1902— H. E. Tedmon, County Clerk. 

1900 to 1902— Clark Smith, County Treasurer. 

1900 to 1902— John A. Cross, Sheriff. 

1900 to 1902— M. Y. Osborn, Assessor. 

1900 to 1902— Mary E. Gill, County Super- 
intendent. 

1900 to 1902— Walter Gough, Coroner. 

1900 to 1902— Emmet McAnelly, Surveyor. 

1901 to 1904— John Y. Munson, County Com- 
missioner. 

1902 to 
missioner. 

1902 to 190' 

1902 to 190 

1902 to 190. 

1902 to 190 

1902 to 190 
tendent. 

1902 to 1904— H. M. Balmer, Coroner. 

1902 to 1904— E. C. McAnelly, Surveyor. 

1903 to 1907— Charles Gilpin-Brown, County 
Commissioner. 

1902 to 1905— John E. Ramer, County Clerk. 

1902 to 1905— Clark Smith, County Treasurer. 

1902 to 1905— John A. Cross, Sheriff. 

1902 to 1905— John W. Seaman, Assessor. 



1905—1. W. Bennett, County Com- 



John E. Ramer, County Clerk. 
Clark Smith, County Treasurer. 
John A. Cross, Sheriff. 
John W. Seaman, Assessor. 
Mary E. Gill, County Superin- 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



1902 


to 


1905- 


tendent. 






1902 


to 


1905- 


1902 


to 


1905- 


1905 


to 


1909- 


sioner. 






1905 


to 


1909- 


sioner. 






1905 


to 


1909- 


Judge. 
1905 


to 


1907- 


1905 


to 


1907- 


1905 


to 


1907- 


1905 


to 


1907- 


1905 


to 


1907- 


tendent. 






1905 


to 


1907- 


1905 


to 


1907- 


1906 


to 


1907- 


Poor Farm 


^, 


1906 


to 


1907- 


1906 


to 


1907- 


torneys. 
1906 


to 


1907- 


1906 


to 


1907- 


1907 


to 


1911- 


missioner. 




1907 


to 


1909- 


1907 


to 


1909- 


1907 


to 


1909- 


1907 


to 


1909- 


1907 


to 


1909- 


intendent. 




1907 


to 


1909- 


1907 


to 


1909- 


1907 


to 


1908- 


cian. 






1907 


to 


1908- 


1907 


to 


1908- 


spector. 
1907 


to 


1908- 


torneys. 
1908 


to 


1909- 


torneys. 
1908 


to 


1909- 


cian. 






1908 


to 


1909- 


Poor Farm 




1908 


to 


1909- 


1909 


to 


1913- 


missioner. 




1909 


to 


1913- 


sioner. 







-Mary E. Gill, County Superin- 

-H. M. Balmer, Coroner. 
-Emmet C. McAnelly, Surveyor. 
-I. W. Bennett, County Commis- 

-J. Y. Munson, County Commis- 

-Clarence V. Benson, County 

-John E. Ramer, County Clerk. 
-J. M. McCreery, Sheriff. 
-T. C. Ramey, County Treasurer. 
-John W. Seaman, Assessor. 
-Mary E. Gill, County Superin- 

-Abner E. Sprague, Surveyor. 
-H. M. Balmer, Coroner. 
-Robert Walsh, Superintendent 

-C. R. Blackwell, Janitor. 
-Garbutt & Clammer, County At- 

-A. E. Carter, Horti. Inspector. 
-L. W. Fee, County Physician. 
-K. J. McCallum, County Com- 

-Frank J. Burnett, County Clerk. 
-J. M. McCreery, Sheriff. 
-T. C. Ramey, County Treasurer. 
-Stewart C. Case, Assessor. 
-Pearl L. Moore, County Super- 

-A. E. Sprague, Surveyor. 
-W. T. HoUowell, Coroner. 
-Thomas Purcell, County Physi- 

-C. R. Blackvi^ell, Janitor. 
-Frank Y. Mosely, Horti. In- 

-Leftvi'ich & Crose, County At- 

-Leftwich & Crose, County At- 

-Thomas Purcell, County Physi- 

-Robert Walsh, Superintendent 

-C. R. Blackwell, Janitor. 
-Frank A. Chaffee, County Com- 

-L. H. Fagan, County Commis- 



1909 to 1913- 

1909 to 1911- 

1909 to 1911- 

Treasurer. 

1909 to 1911- 

1909 to 1911- 

1909 to 1911- 

intendent. 

1909 to 1911- 

1909 to 1911- 

1909 to 1910- 

1909 to 1910- 

1909 to 1910- 

cian. 

1909 to 1910- 

1909 to 1910- 
dent Poor Farm. 

1910 to 1911- 
1910 to 1911- 

Physician. 

1910 to 1911- 

1910 to 1911- 

Poor Farm. 



-Fred W. Stover, County Judge. 
-Frank J. Burnett, County Clerk. 
-Frank W. Moore, County 

-C. A. Carlton, Sheriff. 

-S. C. Case, Assessor. 

-Pearl L. Moore, County Super- 

-W. T. Hollowell, Coroner. 
-E. L. Stevens, Surveyor. 
-J. J. Herring, County Attorney. 
-C. R. Blackwell, Janitor. 
-Thomas Purcell, County Physi- 

-F. Y. Mosely, Horti. Inspector. 
-John F. Campbell, Superinten- 

-J. J. Herring, County Attorney. 
-Dr. Curtis Atkinson, County 

-C. R. Blackwell, Janitor. 

-J. F. Campbell, Superintendent 



Senators and Representatives From 
Organization of the State 



1877 to 
1877 to 
1879 to 
1879 to 
1881 to 

tative. 
1883 to 
1883 to 
1885 to 

resentative, 
1887 to 
1887 to 
1889 to 

tive. 
1891 to 
1891 to 
1893 to 
1895 to 
1895 to 
1897 to 
1899 to 
1899 to 

1901 to 
tive. 

1902 to 
tive (to fill 



1879 — Norman H. Meldrum, Senator. 
1879— N. C. Alford, Representative. 
1883— L. R. Rhodes, Senator. 
1881 — Lucas Brandt, Representative. 
1883 — ^Thomas H. Johnson, Represen- 

1885 — ^Aaron S. Benson, Representative. 
1887 — H. E. Tedmon, Senator. 
1887— William H. McCormick, Rep- 

1891 — Edwin A. Ballard, Senator. 
1899 — R. W. Orvis, Representative. 
1891 — John M. Davidson, Representa- 

1895— A. F. Howes, Senator. 

1893 — C. J. Chapman, Representative. 

1895 — Adolph Donath, Representative. 

1899 — J as. C. Evans, Senator. 

1897— Robt. D. Miller, Representative. 

1899 — Edwin S. Allen, Representative. 

1903 — J as. C. Evans, Senator. 

1901 — Jay P. Harter, Representative. 

1903 — Robert S. Weldon, Representa- 

1903 — T. J. Montgomery, Representa- 
vacancy. ) 



[127] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



-William A. Drake, Senator. 
-Geo. H. Van Horn, Represen- 



1902 to 1903— Jas. B. Arthur, Senator (to fill 
vacancy. ) 

1903 to 1907— A 
1903 to 1905- 

tative. 

1905 to 1907- 
1907 to 1911- 
1907 to 1909- 
1909 to 1911- 



-J. M. Wolaver, Representative. 
-Wm. A. Drake, Senator. 
-J. M. Wolaver, Representative. 
-W. H. Trindle, Representative. 



Public Schools 

The settlers in Larimer county, at the close of 
1860, were mostly single men, few in number and 
w^idely separated, so that even those who had fam- 
ilies of children deemed it inadvisable and, in fact, 
impracticable to attempt to establish schools for 
their little ones. They knew that any such an 
attempt would prove a failure for several reasons. 
First, there were at that time not to exceed half 
a dozen white children of school age in the entire 
county, and their homes were so far apart they 
could not readily be gotten together in one place 
to receive instruction. Second, the county and the 
territory were unorganized, consequently there 
were no public funds for use in supporting schools, 
and third, the industrial possibilities of the county 
were so little known at that period and the minds of 
the settlers here so unsettled regarding the future 
that the first thought of parents was, "How shall we 
provide ourselves and children with food and cloth- 
ing and protection from the dangers, seen and un- 
seen, that surround us on all sides in this new, 
untried and undeveloped region ?" Necessarily, 
they gave but little thought to schools and churches, 
although the moral and intellectual training of the 
few children here were by no means entirely 
neglected. There were private schools in the fam- 
ilies of children, and the brave, thoughtful mothers 
gave them such instruction in the fundamentals as 
their time, talents and opportunities permitted. 
Many of the men and women in the county today, 
descendants of the pioneers, are indebted to their 
patient, persevering and self-sacrificing mothers, who 
so thoughtfully and carefully laid the foundation 
for their education and future career, as they gath- 
ered the little ones about their knees at otherwise 
unoccupied moments in the early days, and im- 
parted to them the rudiments of practical knowledge. 
Later on, as the county became more thickly settled 
and conditions had so improved that public schools 
were possible, we find the pioneers earnestly setting 
about the organization of school districts and the 

[128] 



erection of school houses, in which their children 
might be given proper instruction. These school 
houses were often rude, log structures, but they 
were made comfortable and answered a good 
purpose. 

As is elsewhere stated, the first school district 
organized in the county was formed and estab- 
lished in the Big Thompson valley in 1868. A 
rude cabin was built in which the first public school 
was opened and taught that year. Unfortunately, 
the name of the teacher has been forgotten and 
no mention is made in the records of the county 
superintendent's office of the number of months of 
school, nor of the number of children attending it. 
It would be interesting to know the name of that 
teacher and also the names of the pupils, but these 
have passed from the memories of the oldest inhab- 
itant. The teacher could not have been seriously 
overworked, however, for in 1869, the second year 
of the school's history, Lucas Brandt, the secre- 
tary, reported sixteen children of school age in the 
district. Five other districts appear to have been 
created that year, the six having an aggregate 
school population of 95. The territory included in 
some of these districts embraced hundreds of square 
miles. The western boundary of District No. 1 
was the summit of the Continental Divide, nearly 
one hundred miles distant from the school house. 

The pioneers were mainly from the Middle West- 
ern states and most of them American born. Many 
of them were educated men and their wives and 
daughters cultured and refined ladies. Naturally, 
their first thought after becoming firmly established 
in this wild western land, more than half a thou- 
sand miles beyond the borders of civilization, was 
to provide means for giving their children the school 
advantages which they themselves had enjoyed in 
childhood in their far away Eastern homes. Hence, 
we see them as soon as there were children enough 
in contiguous territory to warrant the formation of 
a school district, banding themselves together in an 
effort to establish public schools. They taxed 
themselves heavily in erecting even rude school 
buildings, in paying teachers' salaries and in meeting 
other necessary expenses. But what a heritage 
they have left us! Today, Larimer county re- 
joices in a public school system with its rural, 
grade and high schools, that are equal to the best in 
any state in the Union, and far superior in point 
of efficiency and the results obtained to those of 
many of the commonwealths of the United States. 
Its school population has increased from 95 in 1869 
to nearly 9,000 in 1910, and handsome brick, stone 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



and frame buildings, modern in all respects, con- 
veniently located, well arranged and thoroughly 
equipped with up-to-date appliances, have taken the 
places of the sod and log huts which served such 
a useful purpose in the pioneer days. At the pres- 
ent time there are fifty-three organized school dis- 
tricts in the county in which schools are maintained 
from four to nine months each year. In three of 
these districts. Fort Collins, Loveland and Berthoud, 
High schools have been conducted for several years, 
whose courses of study articulate closely with the 
higher institutions of learning in the state. All of 
them are in the accredited class, and their graduates 
pass directly into the freshman year at the State 
University. About one-half of the districts support 
graded schools in which work is carried through 
the tenth grade, and all of them offer a thorough 
common school course, thus fitting pupils for the 
High schools, the Normal school or the Agricul- 
tural college. A course of study has been adopted 
which is practically in general use all over the 
county and which not only adds uniformity to the 
system, but also affords to every child completing 
the prescribed course the requisites of intelligent 
citizenship and the knowledge necessary in the ordi- 
nary business affairs of life. Nearly all of the 
schools in the county are supplied with free text 
books, and all of them will be so supplied within a 
very short period of time. Free text books enables 
the teacher to classify her school, do better work and 
get better results. The free text book system also 
places all the pupils upon a common level so far 
as text books are concerned. No distinction is made 
between rich and poor; all are seated at the same 
desks, receive the same instruction and have like 
advantages. 

Many of the graded schools and all of the High 
schools have libraries to which new books are 
added from time to time and to which pupils have 
free access under appropriate regulations. These 
libraries contain between 7,000 and 8,000 choice 
and wisely selected books. No state in the Union 
offers to the young better educational advantages 
than Colorado and no county in the state better 
than those afforded in Larimer county. Fort Col- 
lins was the first town west of St. Louis to intro- 
duce and test the kindergarten and subsequently 
to make it a part of her system of free schools. It 
was introduced in 1880 by Judge Jay H. Bouton, 
who was then President of the Board of Education, 
and the undertaking was attended by such marked 
success and such manifestly beneficent results that 
the legislature was induced, in 1893, to enact a 



law making the kindergarten an integral part of 
the public school system of the state. Since then 
the kindergarten has been introduced in nearly all 
the larger centers of population in Colorado, and is 
steadily working its way into popular favor in all 
parts of the state. With a kindergarten training at 
the beginning of a child's school life and ending 
with a High school course, with a perfect system 
of grading intervening and the honest, conscientious 
work of a competent and enthusiastic corps of teach- 
ers, such and only such as the school authorities of 
the county employ, it is not surprising that the pub- 
lic schools of Larimer county rank second to none 
in the whole country. Four years before a single 
school district had been organized and established 
and before a public school had been opened in Lari- 
mer county, Mrs. Albina L. Washburn, wife of 
the late Judge John E. Washburn and mother of 
Mrs. W. W. Taylor of Fort Collins, taught a small 
private school in a log cabin that stood on the site 
of the present city of Loveland. This was in 1864, 
and Mrs. Washburn received the munificent sum 
of $10 per month for her services. She had ten 
pupils and their names were: Theodore A. Chub- 
buck, Clarence L. Chubbuck, Frank G. Bartholf, 
Kitty Bartholf, Byron Bartholf, John Bartholf, 
Willie Bartholf, George Luce, Lawrence Luce and 
Winona Washburn, daughter of the teacher. The 
school was opened about the first of January and 
was in session three months. I am unable to learn 
whether a school was taught in the Big Thompson 
valley between that time and the date of the open- 
ing of the first public school at what was then 
known as Namaqua, in 1868. That year public 
schools were also opened at Old St. Louis, about 
a mile and a half east of the present city of Love- 
land, and at Hillsborough, six miles east of that 
city. The schools at Namaqua, Old St. Louis and 
Hillsborough were all in the Big Thompson valley. 
A school was organized at Laporte in 1865 and a 
school taught there that year, but the public records 
contains no mention of the district, the teacher or 
the pupils. 

School District No. 5, known as Fort Collins, 
was not legally organized and established until 1870. 
There is no record in existence showing who the 
officers were at this time, but tradition informs us 
that Peter Anderson was the first President of the 
Board of Directors. There must have been some 
sort of an organization previous to 1870, for Mrs. 
Elizabeth Keays taught a school here in the winter 
of 1866, and the officers of the district then, as fhe 
remembers, were N. P. Cooper, president; W. 

[129] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



D. Hayes, secretary, and Capt. Asaph Allen, treas- 
urer. The summer before that Mrs. Stratton 
taught a private school in her room in the hotel 
kept by "Auntie Stone." This hotel stood where 
the City Hotel now stands on Jefferson street. She 
opened this school for the benefit of her young 
son, William P. Keays, but she had not been teach- 
ing him long until other children asked to come in 
and study with him. In the fall of 1866 a room 
was fitted up in one of the buildings that had been 
occupied a few months before as officers' quarters 
when the soldiers were here, and Mrs. Stratton was 
employed to teach a six months' term — the first reg- 
ular term of a public school taught in Fort Collins. 
Among her pupils were Kate Smith, William P. 
Keays, John O'Brien, two of Michael (Ranger) 
Jones' children, two of Mr. Cooper's children and 
three or four of Austin Mason's children. Miss 
Geneva Cooper, sister of Mrs. A. J. Ames, who 
afterwards became Mrs. W. D. Hays, succeeded 
Mrs. Stratton as teacher the next term, Mrs. Strat- 
ton having married Mr. Stratton in the meantime. 

Mrs. Stratton relates many amusing incidents 
that occurred while she was employed as teacher. 
On one occasion she happened to look up from her 
work and discovered Chief Friday of the Arapahoes 
and some of his Indians peering into the one window 
of her room. The children were considerably fright- 
ened at the sight of the visitors and she admits 
that she was herself a little nervous at their sudden 
appearance. The Indians seemed to be greatly 
amused at the spectacle of a woman teaching so 
many children, and when their curiosity had been 
satisfied they departed without molesting anyone 
or anything. 

After the district had been legally organized in 
1870, a small frame school house was erected on 
Riverside avenue, between what are now known 
as Peterson and Whedbee streets, at a cost of 
$1,100. Henry C. Peterson was the contractor 
and builder. This building was used for school 
purposes until the winter of 1879, when the school 
was moved into the Remington school building, 
which had just been completed. The old school 
house was then sold to the Catholic Church and 
used by that congregation until the new Catholic 
Church was built in 1901 on West Mountain ave- 
nue. Miss Maggie Meldrum, sister of former 
Lieut. Governor Norman H. Meldrum, taught the 
first term of school in the old (then new) school 
house" in 1871. She was succeeded in 1872 by Miss 
Alice M. Watrous, now Mrs. A. H. Patterson. 

[130] 



Judge J. W. Barnes, now of Golden, Colo., taught 
in the old building in 1876-7-8. 

On the first Monday in September, 1879, schools 
were opened in all of the rooms of the fully com- 
pleted Remington building. One of the rooms that 
had been hurriedly finished was, however, occupied 
as a school room in the winter of 1878-9. The 
teachers employed to open the schools in the new 
building were: Prof. John Lord, principal; Eu- 
gene Holmes, first assistant, and Miss Frances 
Whitaker, second assistant. 

From the indefinite, incomplete and unsatisfac- 
tory records of the county superintendent's office, 
it is impossible to give in detail the. rise and progress 
down to 1874, of the public schools of Larimer 
county. Important dates regarding the formation 
of school districts, the terms of school, names of 
the teachers, number of pupils, wages paid teachers 
and reports of school officers, as well as much other 
information that would be valuable at this time 
in compiling an accurate history of the grandest 
institution of the county, were omitted in the 
early day records. No system seems to have been 
employed in making and preserving these important 
records, as they are neither logically nor chronolog- 
ically arranged and were apparently kept in a sort 
of a hap-hazard manner. Beginning with 1874, the 
records were better made up, some system being fol- 
lowed, so that it is possible to obtain from them a 
fairly good idea of the history of the public school 
system from that date down to the present time. 
Because of these defective pioneer records I am un- 
able to trace the history of each school district in 
the county from the beginning with any satisfac- 
tory degree of accuracy and must, therefore, omit 
interesting details and be content with a general 
summary of the results. 

From the records it appears that six school dis- 
tricts were created and established in 1868, when 
J. M. Smith was county superintendent, and these 
were No. 1, Namaqua; No. 2, St. Louis (now Love- 
land) ; No. 3, Hillsborough; No. 4, Laporte; No. 
5, Fort Collins, and No. 6, Sherwood (now Tim- 
nath.) In October of that year four of these dis- 
tricts, Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 6, submitted partial reports 
to the county superintendent. These reports con- 
tain nothing more than a statement showing the 
number of children of school age in each at that 
time, as follows: 

No. 2, W. B. Osborn, secretary 24 

No. 4, E. N. Garbutt, secretary 35 

No. 5, W. D. Hayes, secretary 19 

No. 6 (secretary not named) -17 

Total 95 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



That year it appears that the sum of $1,200 
public money was apportioned to the districts then 
organized. In 1869 seven districts made partial 
reports, from which it appears that the school popu- 
lation of the county had increased from 95 to 159, 
no division as to sex being given. . The number re- 
ported from each of the districts was as follows: 

No. 1, Lucas Brandt, secretary 16 

No. 2, W. B. Osborn, secretary 24 

No. 3 (secretary not named) 8 

No. 4 (secretary not named) 40 

No. 5 (secretary not named) 35 

No. 6 (secretary not named) 17 

No. 7 (secretary not named) 19 

Total 159 

At that time all children between the ages of 5 
and 21 were supposed to be reported. It does not 
appear that any public money was apportioned to 
the several districts that year, but the records show 
that in 1870 the county superintendent apportioned 
to the districts the following sums : 

No. 1, Ed. Clark, treasurer $208.50 

No. 2, Thomas Cross, treasurer 408.60 

No. 3 (treasurer not named) 102.00 

No. 4 (treasurer not named) 535.00 

No. 5, Harris Stratton, treasurer 430.00 

No. 6, J. B. Arthur, treasurer 218.50 

No. 7, Fred Smith, treasurer 244.00 

In October, 1870, the school population of the 
county had increased to 203, the number reported 
from each district being as follows: 

No. 1, Lucas Brandt, secretary 18 

No. 2, Thos. Sprague, secretary 20 

No. 3, W. A. Bean, secretary 18 

No. 4, E. N. Garbutt, secretary 43 

No. 5, C. C. Hawley, secretary 51 

No. 6 (secretary not named) 21 

No. 7, P. J. Bosworth, secretary 22 

No. 8, J. R. Oliver, secretary 14 

Total 203 

Pages 15 and 16 of the county superintendent's 
records are missing, causing a break in the contin- 
uity, so that details of the growth and expansion 
of the county school system from 1870, year by 
year, cannot be given. Suffice it to say that succeed- 
ing pages show that a steady growth in school popu- 
lation and greater interest in popular education 
year by year, the greatest expansion taking place 
in the decade ending June 30th, 1909. In the an- 
nual report of Miss Pearl L. Moore, county super- 
intendent, dated September 20th, 1909, we find the 
following interesting statistics relating to school 
matters : 

Statistics 

Number of school districts in the County 53 

Number of districts in which schools were 
taught during the year ending June 30th, 
1909 .• 53 



Number of high schools ^ 

Number enrolled in high schools 540 

Number enrolled in graded schools below high 

school • . . • 5,223 

Number enrolled in rural schools 1,391—7,154 

Number completing eighth grade work 232 

Number of teachers employed in graded schools 125 

Number employed in rural schools 48 

Average monthly salary — Grade teachers, male, $101 ; 
female, $59. 

Average monthly salary — Rural schools, male, $55.50; 
female, $47. 

Total receipts, general fund .$ 49,387.00 

Total receipts, special tax. 123,835.19 

Total receipts from all other sources 14,914.79 

Total '. . . . .$212,978.07 

Paid out for teachers' salaries $ 87,132.14 

Paid out for fuel, rent, insurance and current 

expenses, buildings 37,993.54 

Paid out for sites, furniture and permanent 

improvements 36,580.00 

Paid out for library purposes 1,037.47 

Paid out for redemption of bonds 5,787.70 

Paid out for interest on bonds 7,513.36 

Paid out for other purposes 2,921.93 

Paid out for interest on registered warrants.. 3,419.73 

Total $182,385.95 

Balance on hand 30,592.12 

School Population Between 6 and 
21 Years 

Males 4,094 

Females 4,924 

Total. 8,018 

Number of school houses 72 

Number of school rooms 166 

Value of school property $585,758 

Number of sittings 12,120 

Assessed valuation of all property in school 

districts $9,026,297.00 

Number of district libraries 32 

Number of volumes in libraries 7,053 

The first teachers' institute held in the county 
convened August 20th, 1883, for a two weeks' ses- 
sion in the Remington school building in the city 
of Fort Collins. W. H. McCreery, County Super- 
intendent, was chosen president; W. W. Reming- 
ton, treasurer, and Miss Emma B. Mitchell, sec- 
retary. The teachers in attendance were: Eliza 
Ames, Julia S. Batten, Laura Budrow, Ella Bowler, 
M. A. Brown, Gertrude Coffin, Agnes Cummings, 
Mr. A. J. Cushman, Mrs. Nettie M. Delaney, 
Mary W. Duncan, Addie L. Foote, Carrie E. 
Foote, Louise Gilbertson, Maggie Goddard, Mary 
E. Gill, Lizzie A. Gray, Alice Haines, John C. 
Hanna, Eugene Holmes, Clara Jones, Mrs. E. K. 
Kendall, Attie Kern, Amanda Lowe, Mary E. 
Lyon, Jennie McLain, Alice Mitchell, Emma 
Murch, Emma Reaville, Mattie Reaville, Mrs. 

[131] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER 



COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



Smith, Hattie Silcott, Mattie A. Simpson, Citney 
Watts, Helen White, Mr. V. Williamson. The 
workers of the institute were Dr. J. A. Sewall, 
President of the State University; Prof. Thomas, 
State University; President C. L. IngersoU and 
Profs. Mead, Cassidy and Lawrence of the Agri- 
cultural College; Prof. A. B. Copeland of Greeley; 
Prof. Remington, Mrs. Delaney and County Super- 
intendent McCreery of Fort Collins. 

The teachers of the county are organized and 
hold two association meetings annually, alternating 
the gathering place with Fort Collins, Loveland 
and Berthoud. In addition to these meetings, a 
two-weeks' Teachers' Normal Institute is held in 
the county every third year, alternating with the ad- 
joining Counties of Boulder and Weld, which 
are districted with Larimer for Institute purposes. 
From the facts herein presented it will be seen that 
Larimer county is keeping step with the march of 
progress in educational matters as well as in other 
respects. Indeed, its public schools are the pride 
of every intelligent and well informed person in 
the county. 

Ditches and Reservoirs 

The farming lands in the Big and Little Thomp- 
son valleys are irrigated by water drawn from the 
Big Thompson river and Little Thompson creek 
and their tributaries, and the district is known as 
Water Commissioner District No. 4. To How- 
ard Kelley, Water Commissioner for that district, 
I am indebted for the information herein contained 
concerning the irrigating ditches which draw their 
water supply from the streams named: 

Handy: Length, 20 miles; capacity, 200 cubic 
feet; date of appropriation, February 28th, 1878. 

Home Supply: Length, 25 miles; capacity, 250 
cubic feet; date of appropriation, July 15th, 1881. 

South Side: Length, 10 miles; capacity, 50 
cubic feet; date of appropriation, November 7th, 
1880. 

Louden: Length, 20 miles; capacity, 200 cubic 
feet; date of appropriation, October 1st, 1871. 

Rist: Length, 6 miles; capacity, 200 cubic feet; 
date of appropriation. May 1st, 1873. 

Mariana: Length, 1-J miles; capacity, 5 cubic 
feet; date of appropriation. May 1st, 1863. 

Rist & Goss: Length, 2 miles; capacity, 5 cubic 
feet; date of appropriation, March 20th, .1866. 

Greeley & Loveland: Length, 25 miles; capac- 
ity, 300 cubic feet; date of appropriation, October 
20th, 1865. 

[132] 



Barnes: Length, 5 miles; capacity, 800 cubic 
feet; date of appropriation, November 1st, 1865. 

Big Thompson Manufacturing Co.: Length, 5 
miles; capacity, 40 cubic feet; date of appropriation, 
April 1st, 1863. 

Hillsboro: Length, 18 miles; capacity, 75 cubic 
feet; date of appropriation, October 15th, 1874. 

Big Thompson No. 1 : Length, 8 miles ; capac- 
ity, 90 cubic feet; date of appropriation, November 
10th, 1861. 

Little Thompson Ditches 

Osborn & Caywood : Length, 4 miles ; Capac- 
ity, 4 cubic feet; date of appropriation, November 
1st, 1861. 

W. R. Blore: Length, 5 miles; capacity, 6 
cubic feet; date of appropriation. May 1, 1866. 

Culver & Mahoney: Length, 8 miles; capacity, 
20 cubic feet; date of appropriation, April 15th, 
1867. 

Lykens: Length, 2 miles; capacity, 2 cubic feet; 
date of appropriation. May 1st, 1868. 

Jim Eaglin: Length, 2 miles; capacity, 2 cubic 
feet; date of appropriation. May 1st, 1869. 

Meining: Length, 2 miles; capacity, 2 cubic 
feet; date of appropriation, October 20th, 1874. 

Boulder & Larimer Co. : Length, 6 miles ; capac- 
ity, 100 cubic feet; date of appropriation, June 3rd, 
1875. 

Eagle: Length, 2 miles; capacity, 6 cubic feet; 
date of appropriation, March, 1877. 

Supply Lateral: Length, 4 miles; capacity, 25 
cubic feet; date of appropriation, November, 1878. 

Buckhorn Ditches 

Kirchner: Length, 3 miles; capacity, 6 cubic 
feet; date of appropriation, June 1st, 1884. 

Perkins : Length, 2 miles ; capacity, 2 cubic feet ; 
date of appropriation, June 15th, 1874. 

Neville: Length, 2 miles; capacity, 3 cubic feet; 
date of appropriation, April 29th, 1879. 

Buffum: Length, 2^ miles; capacity, 3 cubic 
feet; date of appropriation, June 28th, 1879. 

Thompson: Length, 2J miles; capacity, 3 cubic 
feet; date of appropriation. May 1st, 1886. 

Union Irrigation & Reservoir: Length, 3 miles; 
capacity, 5 cubic feet; date of appropriation, No- 
vember 27th, 1889. 

Hyatt: Length, 2 miles; capacity 2^ cubic feet; 
date of appropriation, October 1st, 1887. 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Buckhorn Highline: Length, 4 miles; capacity, 
5 cubic feet; date of appropriation, October 22nd, 
1883. 

Reservoirs in the Big and Little 
Thompson Valleys 

Name Capacity, Cubic Feet 

Lone Tree 400,000,000 

Donath 30,000,000 

Mariana 200,000,000 

Lake Loveland 625,000,000 

Lawn Lake 38,000,000 

Seven Lakes 12,000,000 

Ryan Gulch No. 1 40,000,000 

Ryan Gulch No. 2 42,000,000 

Fairport 24,164,910 

Rist & Benson 24,040,600 

Boyd Lake 1,872,000,000 

Buckhorn 60,000,000 

Berthoud Water Works 7,805,614 

Loveland Lake 93,521,818 

Welch Lakes 300,000,000 

Boulder & Larimer 204,483,708 

W. T. Smith 6,924,142 

Wilson 6,982,668 

Cemetery Lake 24,000,000 

Welch Lakes, 1, 2 and 5 117,106,087 

Hupp 3,624,238 

Sunny Slope 11,287,683 

Strever 10,271,444 

Hummel 12,732,269 

Coleman 22,166,980 

Kline 960,760 

Foster & Matz 3,299,970 

Loveland Lateral Lake 24,437,546 

Total Cubic Feet 4,236,810,437 

Reservoirs in the Cache la Poudre 
and Boxelder Valleys 

Warren Lake 126,000,000 

North Gray 12,000,000 

South Gray 22,300,000 

Lake Canal No. 1 35,000,000 

Water Supply & Storage Co., No. 1 206,000,000 

Water Supply & Storage Co., Nos. 2 and 3.. 30,000,000 

Water Supply & Storage Co., No. 4 43,400,000 

Water Supply & Storage Co., Long Pond 176,000,000 

Water Supply & Storage Co., Lindenmeier 40,000,000 

Water Supply & Storage Co., Richards 46,000,000 

Water Supply & Storage Co., Curtis 34,000,000 

Water Supply & Storage Co., Chambers 200,000,000 

Spring Canon 2,700,000 

North Poudre No. 1 29,300,000 

North Poudre No. 2 169,000,000 

North Poudre No. 3 125,000,000 

North Poudre No. 4 46,000,000 

North Poudre No. 5 250,000,000 

North Poudre No. 6 445,000,000 

North Poudre No. 15 240,000,000 

North Poudre, Stuchell 5,000,000 

North Poudre, Coal Creek 178,400,000 

North Poudre, Fossil Creek 525,000,000 

North Poudre, Halligan 280,000,000 

Claymore Lake 40,000,000 

Boxelder Ditch & Reservoir Co., No. 1 25,000,000 



Boxelder Ditch & Reservoir Co., No. 2 8,500,000 

Boxelder Ditch & Reservoir Co., No. 3 34,500,000 

Boxelder Ditch & Reservoir Co., No. 4 11,000,000 

Jameson Lake 3,500,000 

Caverly 7,500,000 

Dixon Canon 19,500,000 

Mitchell Lakes, No. 1 25,300,000 

Mitchell Lakes, No. 2 4,400,000 

Mitchell Lakes No. 3 4,300,000 

Dovrdy 15,000,000 

Deer Lake 4,000,000 

Erie Lake 3,000,000 

Twin Lakes 2,000,000 

Larimer & Weld 390,000,000 

Cache la Poudre 415,000,000 

Neece 6,000,000 

Douglass 285,400,000 

Agricultural Reservoir No. 3 31,000,000 

Big Beaver (Hour Glass) 69,200,000 

B. G. Eaton, No. 8 670,000,000 

Elder 100,000,000 

Cameron Pass 34,000,000 

Sheep Creek 30,000,000 

Lake Agnes 10,000,000 

Divide Canal Co 100.000,000 

Timberline 33,000,000 

Total Cubic Feet 5,822,600,000 

For the data relating to the reservoirs in the 
Cache la Poudre valley and in the mountains west 
of Fort Collins, I am indebted to John L. Arm- 
strong, Water Commissioner for the 3rd district, 
which embraces all the irrigating systems that draw 
their water supply from the Cache la Poudre river 
and its tributaries. The combined storage capacity 
of the reservoirs and storage basins of Larimer 
county, equals 10,059,410,437 cubic feet of water. 




DAM OF HALLIGAN RESERVOIR 

This water is drawn from the streams in the winter 
when it is not needed for direct irrigation, and also 
during the flood periods in the spring and early 
summer, and held in store for use in irrigating the 
orchards, alfalfa fields and late crops, such as 
potatoes and sugar beets, which mature in September 
and October. The reservoirs in the county, when 
filled to their capacity, hold water enough to cover 
230,912 acres of land to a depth of one foot, and 
the water is used to supplement the supply fur- 

[133] 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



nished by the streams directly, thus increasing the 
area of land cultivated to crops. A very large per- 
centage of the water stored in the reservoirs of 
Larimer county is turned into the channel of the 
river and allowed to flow down into Weld county 
for use in irrigating the farms of that county. 

Warren Lake reservoir was the first one built in 
the county and the first in the Northern part of 



during a portion of the irrigation season, was real- 
ized and felt, hence a resort to the system of storing 
the flood waters which flowed down stream every 
spring to the amount of billions of cubic feet and 
were lost to a beneficial use. Every lake and im- 
portant depression in the surface were utilized and 
converted into reservoirs for the conservation of 
water, with the result that Larimer county has the 




BIG THOMPSON DAM— HEAD OF LOVELAND'S WATER WORKS SYSTEM 



the state, and has paid for itself a hundred times 
over. It has been the means of saving millions of 
dollars' worth of crops from burning and bringing 
them through to maturity which could not have 
been saved had it not been for the water held back 
for use in time of need. As the farming sections 
of the county filled up with settlers, the need of 
more water for irrigation than the streams afforded 



largest and best storage system there is in the state, 
The estimated value of stored water is $50 per 
million cubic feet. In actual practice it sometimes 
ranges higher than that, even to $75 and $100 per 
million cubic feet. It will thus be seen that the 
value of the water that could be stored in the reser- 
voirs of the county in one season, exceeds half a 
million dollars. 



[134] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



The canals and ditches in the Cache la Poudre 
valley and their water appropriations and ratings 
are given elsewhere in this book. 

Introduction of Wool Growing and 
Sheep Feeding 

The sheep and wool growing industry was intro- 
duced in Larimer county about 1870, there being 
three bands of sheep owned, one by Mr. Weldon of 
the Big Thompson valley, another by J. S. May- 
nard of Maynard Flats, and the third by E. W. 
Whitcomb on Boxelder creek. In 1871 William 
N. Bachelder settled at 
Spring Canon with a bunch 
of sheep and he did so well 
with them that others en- 
gaged in the business until, 
in 1878, there were about 
75,000 range sheep in the 
county. As the county be- 
came settled up and the 
range narrowed down, the 
sheep men had to move their 
flocks out of the county to 
where they could have wider 
and unobstructed ranges or 
retire from the business. 
Many of them preferred the 
latter, having accumulated a 
competence at the business, 
so that at the present time 
there are only one or two 
bands of range sheep in the 
county. At first the cattle- 
men were bitterly opposed to the placing of sheep on 
the range, and did all in their power to discourage 
the sheep men and prevent them from locating in 
the county. The opposition was fierce at times and 
personal conflicts between the cattle men and sheep 
men were not rare. They even carried opposition 
to the introduction of sheep into politics and in the 
early days a sheep man could not be elected to office 
on any ticket. 

The following extracts from a letter written to 
me by the late William N. Bachelder who, in 1900, 
was living at Gebo, Montana, and who was one of 
the pioneer sheep men of the county, will give one 
an insight into conditions as they existed here when 
he engaged in the wool growing industry. He says : 
"I just noticed in the Rocky Mountain News an 
article on the lamb feeding industry in Larimer 
county which was suggested by an article taken 



from the Fort Collins Courier describing the re- 
sult of the introduction of the industry in that 
county. It brought fresh to my mind many scenes 
and incidents of the sheep business in Larimer 
county in the early days. 

"In the fall of 1871 I left my native state, Ver- 
mont, and came to Colorado to engage in wool 
growing. Larimer county was the first place I 
struck and when I settled I asked my host, Harry 
Conley, who then kept the hotel afterwards known 
as the Blake House, if he could show me a sheep 
ranch. 'What do you want he replied?' I said 
plenty of grass and water. He then pointed Spring 




RANGE SHEEP AT PASTURE 

Canon out to me. I drove out to Spring Canon 
that evening and laid the foundation for a house 
and sheep ranch. There were two bunches of sheep 
in the county at that time, one owned by Thomas 
Weldon on the Big Thompson, and one owned by 
E. W. Whitcomb on the Boxelder. I sold my 
brook washed wool the following spring for 60 
cents a pound, and my unwashed wool for 40 cents 
a pound. 

"I soon found out that a sheep man was hated 
above all other men because his sheep bit off the 
grass too short to suit his neighbors. Being young 
and ambitious at that time I accepted the nomination 
as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention; 
those awful, ugly sheep defeated me at the election. 
A few years later I had associated with me in the 
wool growing business the Bristol brothers of 
Vergennes, Vermont, and Henry Dewey, of Ben- 



[135] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



nington, Vermont, who was a brother of Rear 
Admiral George P. Dewey, the hero of Manila 
Bay. Henry came there for lung trouble, but like a 
good many others he came too late. Many Fort 
Collins people will remember him and his estimable 
wife. We sent him back to Vermont, where he died 
soon afterward. 

"I used to try persuade my neighbors in Larimer 
county that the sheep business was the best to en- 
gage in, but one of them had the cheek to tell me 
that he should have voted for me if I had not been 
a sheep man. I have been vindicated at last. I have 
lived to see one half of the business people of Fort 
Collins engaged in the sheep business and to see that 
industry bring them in a $1,000,000 a year." 

For many years after agriculture had taken root 
in Larimer county, the farmers devoted all of their 
energies to raising wheat, with here and there a 
field of oats or barley and until the introduction of 
alfalfa in 1877, the small grains were about all the 
crops raised. From 1865 down to 1876 wheat 
commanded good prices, as the supply was insuf- 
ficient to meet the demand for bread, and farmers 
realized handsome profits from their crops. That 
year, owing to the importations from Kansas and 
Utah, the price of wheat began to fall off, selling 
in the early SO's as low at times as 60 cents per 
hundred pounds, and to make matters still worse 
the yield per acre began to dwindle, due to con- 
tinued cropping of the same ground and consequent 
exhaustion of the soil. At these prices the farmers 
were unable to make ends meet as the cost of 
producing wheat in the arid region under irrigation 
Is greater per acre than in sections of the country 
where the rainfall is sufficient to mature a crop. 
Many of the farmers were in debt, some for their 
land, some for water supply and others for teams 
and farm equipment; so that the outlook down to 
about 1890 was decidedly gloomy. When wheat 
growing ceased to be profitable the farmers turned 
to growing more alfalfa and soon that came to be 
a drug on the market. Then there was but little 
stock feeding in the county so that the demand for 
hay was light and alfalfa would not bear shipping. 
There were between 40,000 and 50,000 head of 
cattle in the county, but those fit for beef were 
shipped out in the fall and only a few head, com- 
paratively speaking, were fed through the winter 
for the spring market. The farmers had not yet 
learned that they could ship their surplus alfalfa to 
market on foot and thousands of tons of fine hay 
rotted in the stacks. The raising of alfalfa had an 
efiEect, however, on depleted soils, for it restored 

[136] 



them to fertility so that wheat sown on alfalfa 
ground began to give better yields. 

The year 1889 witnessed the dawning of a new 
and prosperous era among the farmers. In the fall 
of that year the brothers, E. J. and I. W. Bennett, 
who a few years before had been interested in the 
range sheep and wool growing industry and also 
feeding sheep in Nebraska in the winter time, 
bought in Southern Colorado about 2,500 high grade 
Mexican lambs with the intention of shipping them 
to their feeding pens in Nebraska and fattening them 
for the spring markets. They were caught at 
Trinidad in a severe snow storm which blocked the 
railroad so that no trains could be moved. Here 
for two weeks the lambs were held without food 
except such as was afforded by a few pinon trees 
cut down for them to browse. By the time the rail- 
road was opened for traffic the Bennetts had lost a 
number of lambs from starvation and exposure and 
the remainder were so weak that they feared to 
ship them through to Nebraska. As a last resort 
the owners decided to ship the lambs to Fort Collins 
where alfalfa could be obtained at a reasonable 
price, and there attempt to fatten them under 
what they considered at the time as adverse cir- 
cumstances. The lambs reached Bennett Brothers' 
ranch, 12 miles east of Fort Collins, about the 
middle of November and were placed upon a gener- 
ous ration of alfalfa. They recovered rapidly from 
the effects of their long fast and rough journey and 
later were fed corn as well as hay. The lambs 
were shipped to Chicago in March and April, 1890, 
and sold at prices ranging from $5.05 to $6.40 per 
hundred pounds, leaving the feeders a fine profit. 

This was the beginning of the lamb feeding in- 
dustry In Colorado, an industry that put the farmers 
on their feet and enabled them to pay off their 
debts, improve their farms and build new homes. 
For the purpose of showing the growth of the in- 
dustry I will give figures showing the number of 
lambs fed in the county, year by year, for a series 
of years : 

In the winter of 1889 2,500 

In the winter of 1890 3,500 

In the winter of 1891 6,000 

In the winter of 1892 30,000 

In the winter of 1893 40,000 

In the winter of 1894 : 60,000 

In the winter of 1895 80,000 

In the winter of 1896 128,000 

In the winter of 1897 193,000 

In the winter of 1898 250,000 

In the winter of 1899 300,000 

In the winter of 1900 350,000 

In the winter of 1901 400,000 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Since 1901 the number of sheep and lambs fed 
each winter in the county has ranged from 250,000 
to 400,000 until this year (1910). Owing to the 
lack of an adequate water supply and the ravages 
of grasshoppers the alfalfa crop was light and many 
feeders were compelled, for the want of sufficient 
hay, to cut down their purchases of lambs for winter 
feeding and others to temporarily drop out of the 
business entirely for the same reason. It is esti- 
mated that the feeding pens of the county will not 
contain more than 75,000 sheep and lambs this 
year. 

From Larimer county ,the industry spread to 
other agricultural counties of the state so that in 
ordinary seasons Colorado turns off about a million 
and a half of fat lambs every spring. At 
first the lambs cost the feeders from 
$1.25 to $1.50 each and their winter's 
operations brought them a good snug 
profit. Late years, however, the range 
flock masters have increased the price so 
that now a 60-pound lamb costs from 
$3.50 to $4.00, thus reducing the feed- 
ers' profits. The industry has proved a 
blessing to Larimer county in many 
ways. It has enriched the farms and 
brought them up to a high state of fer- 
tility through the distribution and plow- 
ing under of the manure. It has paid 
the interest on the mortgage and saved 
the home. In many instances it has paid 
the mortgage. It has enabled many a 
struggling farmer to get out of debt and to bring 
into his home some of the comforts of life. It has 
enabled many a farmers' boy or girl to satisfy an 
ambition for a higher education than he or she could 
receive at the public schools. 

At first the feeders were obliged to borrow money 
at the banks with which to buy their lambs and corn, 
and the banks were very accommodating and did 
their share toward building up the industry. Now 
most of the feeders are independent of the banks 
and some of them are prepared to assist their less 
fortunate neighbors by loans for use in stocking 
their feeding pens and the purchase of corn. It is a 
significant fact that the banks have never lost a dol- 
lar during the twenty years they have been loaning 
money to sheep feeders, their loans always being 
promptly paid when the lambs were sold. Since the 
winter of 1890, when the lamb feeding industry had 
its beginning, more than 4,000,000 sheep and lambs 
have been fattened in and marketed from Larimer 
county. 



The alfalfa crop has also prepared the way for the 
profitable feeding and fattening of cattle and tens 
of thousands of fat steers and cows are now shipped 
to market every spring. Twenty years ago it was 
a rare thing to see a car load of fat cattle sent away 
to market from the county. To Senator W. A. 
Drake belongs the credit of having received the high- 
est price ever paid in Chicago for Larimer county 
fed lambs, which was in the spring of 1910 when he 
sold a shipment at the rate of $10.25 per hundred 
pounds. Mr. Drake is perhaps the most successful 
stock feeder in the county, his feeding pens annually 
containing from 30,000 to 40,000 lambs, which he 
feeds out during the winter months and markets 
in Chicago. 




BEGINNING OF COLORADO AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE 

Colorado State Agricultural College 

The origin of the State Agricultural college of 
Colorado, like that of its sister institutions in other 
states, dates back to an act of Congress, approved 
July 2nd, 1862. Therein it is proposed to endow 
in the several states and territories, by grants of 
public lands, "a college where the leading object 
shall be, without excluding other scientifie and 
classical studies, and including military tactics, to 
teach such branches of learning as are related to 
Agriculture and the Mechanics Arts, in such nian- 
ner as the Legislatures of the States may respectively 
prescribe, in order to prom.ote the liberal and prac- 
tical education of the industrial classes in the several 
pursuits and professions of life." 

This act gave the Colorado Agricultural College 
an endowment of 90,000 acres of land. From the 
sale and rental of these lands the college is receiv- 
ing a steadily increasing income, year by year. 



[137] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



The Territorial Legislature took advantage of the 
concession and accepted the grant made by congress 
and in 1870 passed an act establishing and locating 
the Agricultural College of Colorado at Fort Col- 
lins in Larimer county. This act also named the 
first board of trustees as follows : James M. Smith, 
Timothy M. Smith, John S. Wheeler, Hugh 
Mason, Jesse M. Sherwood, B. T. Whedbee, A. K. 
Yount, A. F. Howes, H. C. Peterson, Joseph 
Mason, A. H. Patterson and John C. Matthews, 
nearly all of them at that time residents of Lari- 
mer county, whose exertions procured the passing of 
the act by the Tdrritdrial Legislature locating the 
proposed institution here, conditional upon the 
donation of two hundred and forty acres of land. 
The land, a fine tract well suited to the pur- 
pose, was donated by Arthur H. Patterson, 80 
acres; Robert Dalzell, 30 acres; Joseph Mason, 
H. C. Peterson and John C. Matthews, 50 
acres; The Larimer County Improvement com- 
pany, 80 acres, making in all 240 acres. The deeds 
to fhese^ lands. were executed in January, 1871, Dec- 
ember, 1872 and in January, 1873. 

The Territorial Legislature of 1872, amended the 
act paSsed in- 1870 by naming a new board of 
trustees, to-vvit; T. M. Smith, H. C. Peterson, J. 
M. Sherwood, B. H. Eaton, A. H. DeFrance, 
Samuel H. Elbert, J. M. Paul, A. F. Howes, Gran- 
ville Berkeley, A; K. Yount, G. M. Chilcott and B. 
Tr Whedbee. In 1874 the Territorial Legislature 
appropriated $1,000 to aid in erecting buildings 
and making other improvements on the grounds. 
This appropriation was made contingent upon a like 
sum being donated by citizens of the county. The 
donation was raised in Fort Collins and this, with 
the legislative appropriation, enabled the trustees to 
erect a small brick building and secure certain neces- 
sary water rights for the farm. 

The Constitutional Convention, held in 1876, 
permanently located the college at Fort Collins by 
constitutional provision and, by an act of the first 
General assembly passed in 1877, an entire re- 
organization of the board was effected, changing the 
title from board of trustees to the State Board of 
Agriculture and authorizing the levy of a tax of one 
tenth of a mill on the taxable property of the state 
to provide a fund for the erection of a suitable 
building. The act gave the Governor the power, 
by and with the consent of the senate, to appoint 
the members of the board. Before the session ad- 
journed. Governor John L. Roiitt sent to the Senate 
the names of N. W. Everett, of Jefferson county; 
John Armor, of Arapahoe county; B. S. La 

[138] 



Grange, of Weld county; P. M. Hinman, of 
Boulder county; William Bean, John J. Ryan, 
Harris Stratton and W. F. Watrous of Larimer 
county which the senate promptly confirmed. The 
first official meeting of this board was held in 
March, 1877, in Denver, when W. F. Watrous 
was elected president and Harris Stratton, secre- 
tary. The College tax for 1877 and 1878 amounted 
to about $8,000, which was expended in the erec- 
tion of a building, planting a nursery of forest, 
fruit and shade trees, and otherwise improving the 
grounds. The contract price of the building was 
$7,280, but it cost several hundred dollars more 





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ADMINISTRATION BUILDIN^G, COLORADO 
AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE 

than that sum which the contractor and his bonds- 
men had to lose. The corner stone was laid July 
27th, 1878, by the Grand Lodge of Masons of Colo- 
rado, with appropriate ceremonies, and the build- 
ing was completed in December of that year. The 
building committee was composed of W. F. 
Watrous, W. A. Bean, B. S. LaGrange, Harris 
Stratton and John J. Ryan. George E. King, of 
Boulder, was the architect, H. C. Baker, of Boulder, 
builder, Andrew Armstrong, of Fort Collins, super- 
intendent. The sub-contractors were Charles 
Brotherton, cut stone; Boyd & Weldon, brick work; 
O'Neil & Thorn, plastering, Wallace & Graves, 
painting; Tedmon Bros., tin work. 

The General assembly of 1879 increased the tax 
levy for the college to one-fifth of a mill and 
authorized the board to borrow $2,000 in anticipa- 
tion of the tax collections for use in furnishing the 
.building ready for the opening of school, which had 
been set for September 1st, of that year. 

The college opened on Monday, September 1st, 
1879, with 25 students enrolled. The faculty was 
composed of Dr. E. E. Edwards, Ph. D., President; 
A. E. Blount, A. M., Professor of practical Agri- 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



culture and Farm Superintendent; F. J. Annis, 
Professor of Chemistry and Mathematics. 

The second year of the college opened in the year 
1880, in September, with an enrollment of fifty- 
seven students — thirty-five 
males and twenty-two females. 
From this on the enrollment of 
registered students increased 
year by year as the institution 
increased in age, until, on June 
30th, 1910, the total number 
was 878. This, for a mountain 
state with a population esti- 
mated at between 800,000 and 
900,000 souls is a most gratify- 
ing showing. 

The first commencement ex- 
ercises were held in June, 1884, 
when the B. S. degree was con- 
ferred upon three graduates, 
George H. Glover, Miss Eliza- 
beth Coy and Leonidas Loomis. 
Mr. Glover is now the head of 
the department of Veterinary 
Science of his Alma Mater; 
Miss Coy, the wife of Professor' 
James W. Lawrence, head of 
the department of Mechanical 
Engineering at the college, and 
Mr. Loomis is a prosperous far- 
mer and stock man of the 
Cache la Poudre Valley. 

Additions were made to the 
faculty and teaching force from 
time to time as the enrollment 
of students increased and condi- 
tions demanded, until at the 
present time, there are thirty 
members of the faculty, includ- 
ing the secretary, and twenty- 
six instructors and assistants. 
During its thirty-one years of 
existence, the college has had 
six presidents. Dr.. E. E. Ed- 
wards, from 1879 to 1882; Dr. 
Charles L. IngersoU, from 1883 
to 1890; Dr. Alston Ellis, 
from 1891 to 1899; Dr. B. O. 
Aylesworth, from 1900 to 1909. 
Professor J. W. Lawrence, dean 
of the faculty, served as acting 
president from 1890 to 1891. 
Dr. Charles A. Lory was 



elected president to succeed Dr. Aylesworth in June, 
1909, and is now the liead of the institution. 

Under the authority of an act of congress, ap- 
proved March 2nd, 1887, generally known as the 




BUILDINGS ON COLLEGE CAMPUS. UPPER, CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC. 

MIDDLE, CIVIL AND IRRIGATION ENGINEERING. 

LOWER, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 

[139] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



Hatch Act, an Agricultural Experiment station was 
organized and established at the college in Feb- 
ruary, 1888. This act appropriated $15,000 an- 
nually for research, investigation and experiments 



.,x-^mfM:'MJM 




BUILDINGS ON COLLEGE CAMPUS. UPPER, ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING 
BUILDING. MIDDLE, LILY POND AND CAMPUS. 
LOWER, AGRICULTURAL HALL 
[140] 



along the lines of agriculture, horticulture and 
animal husbandry, and in the arid states the water 
problem which arises out of their systems of irri- 
gation. The act provided that the results of these 
investigations and of the prac- 
tical experiments should be pub- 
lished in Station bulletins to be 
issued from time to time as the 
investigations were completed. 
The bulletins issued by Colo- 
rado Experiment Station in 
compliance with the act, cover 
a wide range of industrial top- 
ics, and are conceded to be 
among the most notable and 
valuable contributions to the 
literature on the subjects inves- 
tigated that have been made to 
the science of agriculture. 

On the 30th of June, 1910, 
the total estimated value of 
the College property, including 
lands, buildings, apparatus, li- 
brary, machinery and live stock, 
was $688,267. On the 30th of 
June, 1878, the total value of 
all the property belonging to the 
college was $5,000. The col- 
lege buildings now include the 
Main building, the largest on 
the grounds. It contains ofHces 
for the President, Secretary, 
Registrar, Director of Farmers' 
Institutes, Commandant, Rocky 
Mountain Collegian, the Col- 
lege Magazine, Y. M. C. A. 
and Y. W. C. A. ; offices and 
class rooms for the department 
of English, Mathematics, Mod- 
ern Languages, History and 
Literature, Constitutional His- 
tory and Irrigation Law; an 
auditorium with opera chairs 
for seating 900 persons, an 
armory 40 by 72 feet, the gym- 
nasium, and a laboratory used 
by the department of physics. 

Large Chemical building, 
Electrical Engineering building, 
Old Domestic Science building, 
Household Arts building, erect- 
ed this year (1910) at a cost of 
$50,000. This is the gift of 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



United States Senator Simon Guggenheim. Horti- 
cultural Hall, Mechanical Engineering building, 
Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Laboratory, 
Civil and Irrigation Engineering building, com- 
pleted Feb. 1st, 1910, Agricultural Hall, Stock 
Judging pavilion, Greenhouse and Forcing Houses, 
Veterinary buildings, four in all. 

Farm buildings, including barn, sheds, sheep 
barn, piggery, machinery sheds, farm blacksmith 
shop and poultry houses. 

Farm Mechanics building. 

Library, with room for 40,000 bound volumes 
and 50,000 unbound pamphlets and bulletins, 
office and reading room. 

Zoological building, a handsome two story struct- 
ure. 

The wisdom of the Territorial Legislature and 
the Constitutional Convention in locating and estab- 
lishing the Colorado Agricultural College at Fort 
Collins has been confirmed by subsequent events 
and the development of agriculture in its vicinity. 
The institution is situated in the richest and most 
productive section of the state, where farming by 
irrigation has reached a very high stage of develop- 
ment. It is also in the midst of fine scenery and 
near enough to the mountains for class excursions 
to study geology, botany, entomology, native flora 
forestry, and fauna. 

Cramped and hindered in its great work by the 
lack of means, it took the college many years to get 
on its feet and be able to demonstrate its usefulness, 
but during the past score of years it has attained a 
rank and standing equal to the very best of similar 
institutions in the United States. Indeed, it out 
ranks them all in many respects. Its graduates are 
sought after by Agricultural colleges in all parts 
of the United States, to fill positions as professors 
and instructors. Many of them are employed by 
the government in the reclamation service, in the 
forestry service and in scientific research and ex- 
permanent work. A number of the graduates in 
civil and irrigation engineering have attained emi- 
nence in the government's reclamation service, and 
are recognized the country over as being the best 
fitted and best qualified constructive engineers in 
that service. The college has done and is doing a 
grand good work for Colorado and the arid regions 
of the west, yearly graduating from its class rooms 
young men and young women who promptly take 
high rank as civil and irrigation engineers, scientists, 
and instructors and who are filling important and 
responsible positions in the industrial and scientific 
world. While the institution has had a remark- 



able growth since it came into being, considering 
the unfavorable conditions encompassing its incep- 
tion and the obstacles it has had to overcome, it is 
not a wild guess to predict for it a still brighter 
future. 

The present State Board of Agriculture is com- 
posed of: 

Terra Expires 

Hon. T. J. Ehrhart, Centerville 1919 

Hon. Chas. Pearson, Durango 1919 

Hon. R. W. Corwin, Pueblo 1913 

Hon. A. A. Edwards, Fort Collins 1913 

Hon. F. E. Brooks, Colorado Springs ■ 1915 

Hon. J. L. Brush Greeley 1915 

Hon. J. C. Bell, Montrose 1917 

Hon. E. M. Ammons, Littleton 1917 

Governor John F. Shafroth } gx-Officio. 

President Chas. A. Lory ) 

As a means of showing the growth of the institu- 
tion since it was opened in September, 1879, with 
only three members of the faculty, and the extent 
and character of the work carried on along edu- 
cational lines, the following list of officers, board 
committees, members of the faculty, instructors and 
assistants is herewith appended : 

Officers 

Hon. A. A. Edwards President 

Hon. Jared L. Brush Vice-President 

L. M. Taylor Secretary 

Geo. A. Webb Treasurer 

Standing Committees 

Executive — A. A. Edwards, J. L. Brush, E. M. Am- 
raonds. 

Finance— F. E. Brooks, R. W. Corwin, J. L. Brush. 

Farm, Stock and Veterinary Science — T. J. Ehrhart, J. L. 
Brush, John C. Bell. 

Faculty and Courses of Study — E. M. Ammons, F. E. 
Brooks, John C. Bell. 

Botany, Horticulture and Entomology — R. W. Corwin, 
E. M. Ammons, T. J. Ehrhart. 

Mathematics, Engineering and Military Science — Chas. 
Pearson, T. J. Ehrhart, E. M. Ammons. 

Chemistry—?. E. Brooks, John C. Bell, R. W. Corwin. 

College Lands and Leases— ^ohn C. Bell, J. L. Brush, 
Chas. Pearson. 

College Buildings and Permanent Improvements — J. L. 
Brush, E. M. Ammons, R. W. Corwin. 

Home Economics, Library and Music — ^R. W. Corwin, 
T. J. Ehrhart, Chas. Pearson. 

History, Literature, English and Rhetoric — C. A. Lory, 
Chas. Pearson, J. L. Brush. 

Farmers' Institutes— E. M. Ammons, John C. Bell, F. E. 
Brooks. 

Salaries — E. M. Ammons, F. E. Brooks, Chas. Pearson. 

Faculty 

Chas. A. Lory, M. S., LL. D. (Univ. of Colorado), 
President. 

James W. Lawrence, M. E. (C. A. C), Dean of the 
Faculty and Professor of Mechanical Engineering. 

Clarence P. Gillette, M. S. (Mich. Agr. College), Pro- 
fessor of Zoology and Entomology, and Director of the 
Experiment Station. 

William P. Headden, A. M., Ph. D. (Giessen), Profes- 
sor of Chemistry and Geology. 

[141] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Edward B. House, B. S. (E. E.), (Univ. of Mich.), 
M. S._(C. A. C), Professor of Civil and Irrigation En- 
gineering. 

Virginia H. Corbett, B. L., M. Ph. (Iowa State Col- 
lege), Associate Professor of History and Literature and 
Adviser of Women. 

George H. Glover, M. S., D. V. M. (Iowa State Col- 
lege), Professor of Theory and Practice, and Head of 
Division of Veterinary Science. 

William Russell Thomas, A. B. (Williams), Litt. D. 
(Denver Univ.), Associate Professor of Constitutional His- 
tory and Irrigation Law. 

B. F. Coen, B. L. (Univ. of Wisconsin), Professor of 
English. 

S. L. Macdonald, B. S. (Ind. State Normal), Professor 
of Mathematics. 

Harry D. Humphrey, Capt. U. S. A. (Ret.), Professor 
of Military Science and Tactics. 



H. E. Kingman, B. 8. (C. A. C), D. V. S. (Kansas City 
Vet. College), M. D. V. (McKillip's Vet. College, Chi- 
cago), Professor of Veterinary Materia Medica. 

L. M. Taylor, Secretary of The State Board of Agricul- 
ture and the Faculty. 

E. R. Bennett, B. S., M. H. (Mich. Agr. College), Pro- 
fessor of Horticulture. 

T. M. Netherton, A. B., A. M. (William Jewell Col- 
lege; Univ. of Chicago), Principal, School of Agriculture. 

F. A. Delay, B. S. (E. E.), Univ. of Wisconsin, Profes- 
sor of Physics and Electrical Engineering. 

C. H. Hinman, A. B. (Univ. of Nebraska), Superin- 
tendent of Extension. 

Ralph Parshall, B. S. (C. A. C), Assistant Professor 
in Civil and Irrigation Engineering. 

Fred G. Person, B. A. (Univ. of Colorado), Assistant 
Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering. 




SIMON GUGGENHEIM HALL OF HOUSEHOLD ARTS 



George E. Morton, M. L., B. S. A. (C. A. C), Professor 
of Animal Husbandry. 

Fred C. Alford, M. S. (C. A. C), Associate Professor 
of Chemistry. 

Burton O. Longyear, B. S. (Mich. Agr. College), Pro- 
fessor of Botany and Forestry. 

S. Arthur Johnson, M. S. (Rutgers), Associate Professor 
of Zoology and Entomology. 

Mary F. Rausch, B. S. (C. A. C), Professor of Home 
Economics. 

I. E. Newsom, B. S. (C. A. C), D. V. C. (San Francisco 
Vet. College and Kansas City Vet. College), Professor of 
Veterinary Anatomy. 

C. L. Barnes, D. V. M. (N. Y. State Vet. College), Pro- 
fessor of Veterinary Surgery. 

B. F. Kaupp, M. S. (C. A. C), D. V. S. (Kansas Vet. 
College), Professor of Veterinary Pathology. 

Sarah I. Kettle, A. B. (Univ. of Colorado), Professor 
of Modern Languages. 

Alvin Keyser, B. S., M. A. (Univ. of Nebraska), Pro- 
fessor of Agronomy. 

[142] 



Inga M. K. Allison, E. B. (Univ. of Chicago), Profes- 
sor of Home Economics and Acting Head of the Depart- 
ment. 

Charlotte A. Baker, Librarian. 

Instructors and Assistants 

D. C. Bascom, B. S. (Kansas State Agr. College), Gen- 
eral Secretary of College, Y. M. C. A. 

B. G. D. Bishopp, B. S. (C. A. C), Instructor in Animal 
Husbandry. 

L. C. Bragg, Curator of the Museum. 

Zula M. Brockett, B. S. (Tarkio College), Instructor in 
English and Literature. 

Albert B. Cammack, M. E. (Iowa State College), In- 
structor in Mechanical Engineering. 

George M. Cassidy, B. S. (Univ. of Vermont), Physical 
Director. 

Phebe S. Copps (Armour Institute of Technology), In- 
structor in Home Economics. 

J. Blaine Crabbe, A. B. (Ohio Wesleyan Univ.), B. O. 
(Emerson School of Oratory), Instructor in English. 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



E. Arlene Dilts, Assistant in Library. 

Margaret Durward, Ph. B. (Univ. of Chicago), In- 
structor in Mathematics. 

H. E. Dvorachek, B. S. A. (Univ. of Minnesota), In- 
structor in Animal Husbandry. 

Anna Elizabeth Elwell, B. A. (Univ. of Colorado), As- 
sistant in Physics. 

Julius Erdman (College of Horticulture, Roestritz, Ger- 
many), Gardener and Instructor in Floriculture. 

D. W. Frear, B. S. A. (Univ. of Minnesota), Instructor 
in Agronomy. 

Fred N. Langridge, M. E. (C. A. C), Instructor in 
Mechanical Engineering. 

James _D. Marshall, B. S. A. (Univ. of Wisconsin), In- 
structor in Agronomy. 

Miriam A. Palmer, A. M. (Univ. of Kansas), Instructor 
in Freehand Drawing. 

W. A. Peek, B. S. A. (Iowa Agr. College), Instructor in 
Farm Mechanics. 

Michiel Pesman, B. S. (C. A. C), Instructor in Botany. 

Hiram Pierce, Instructor in Carpentry. 

Maude A. Propst, A. B. (Rockford College), Instructor 
in Home Economics. 

Fred J. Rankin, B. M. E. (Univ. of Kentucky), In- 
structor in Forge and Foundry Practice. 

Annie L. Robinson, B. S. (Teachers' College, New York 
City), Instructor in Domestic Art. 

S. Van Smith, B. S. (Kansas State Agr. College), In- 
structor in Horticulture. 

J. S. Standt, A. M. (Franklin and Marshall College), 
Instructor in Electrical Engineering. 

Mrs. C. Agnes Upson, Assistant in Physical Culture 
for Women. 

Carey E. Vail, B. Sc. (Nebraska Wesleyan), M. A. 
(Univ. of Nebraska), Instructor in Chemistry. 

Ida Walker, Assistant in Library. 

W. E. Vaplon, Instructor in Animal Husbandry. 

Faculty Committees 

Executive — J. W. Lawrence, S. Arthur Johnson, Geo. H. 
Glover, B. F. Coen, S. L. Macdonald, Virginia Corbett, 
Alvin Keyser, T. M. Netherton. 

Social — Virginia Corbett, Margaret Durward, B. G. D. 
Bishopp, E. B. House, T. M. Netherton. 

Rural Education — S. Arthur Johnson, B. F. Coen, T. M. 
Netherton. 

Catalogue — B. F. Coen, S. Van SmitTi, B. O. Longyear. 

Athletic — Geo. M. Cassidy, S. L. Macdonald, Ralph 
Parshall. 

Advanced Degrees — Wm. P. Headden, J. W. Lawrence, 
W. R. Thomas. 

Introduction of Fruit Growing in 
Larimer County 

The following article on fruit growing in Lari- 
mer county was written in 1898 by Charles E. 
Pennock, of Bellvue, whose phenomenal success as 
a theoretical and practical horticulturist makes him 
an authority on the subject: 

"If in 1859 or '60, when crowds of people were 
flocking to Pike's Peak in search of gold, had one 
among the number ventured the prediction that the 
Great American Desert would ever become what it 
is today, and (from the progress now being made) 
what it is sure to become in the very near future, 



that person would have been adjudged insane and a 
fit subject for an asylum, had there been such an 
institution in the land. Despite the evidence on 
every hand to the contrary, then and for many years 
after, the general belief and cry was that no fruit 
could be grown in Colorado. Better native fruits 
were not in the United States than could be found 
growing wild at that time along the streams, on 
the Plains and in the mountains to timber line, 
and in assortment sufficient to supply the table in a 
satisfactory manner. 

There was one who took Nature's hint, and 
Abner Loomis, of Larimer county, putting his 
faith into action, brought 500 apjple trees and 
several sacks of walnuts and hickory nuts for plant- 
ing. These were brought across the Plains with ox 
teams in 1862, probably the first ever brought into 
the state. These were mostly planted on Mr. 
Loomis' farm in Pleasant valley, some being given 
to the neighbors for trial. Some of the trees, still 
bearing and fruitful, stand witnesses to the wisdom 
and forethought of the planter. From the walnut 
seed planted, there is on the old place a grove of 
trees that for size can be equalled no other place in 
the state. While Mr. Loomis was laying the foun- 
dation for orchards in northern Colorado, Jesse 
Frazer was doing the same for the southern part, 
and with equal success. These two names should 
go down in history as the heroes of Horticulture in 
Colorado. 

"Their early plantings induced others to try, but 
with varying success. Trees were usually received 
in poor condition, irrigation was but little under- 
stood, and there were other drawbacks, so that 
fruit growing was not begun in earnest until W. F. 
Watrous, J. S. McClelland, A. N. Hoag, Z. C. 
Plummer and P. P. Black, by their intelligent 
application of the principles of Irrigation and pains- 
taking experiments as to varieties, proved that fruit 
growing could be developed into a safe and profit- 
able industry. The experiments of these old pio- 
neers and their ever ready help and advice entitle 
them to the thanks of every citizen of the county 
who has been encouraged by their experience to like- 
wise become planters. 

"Each year brings a great increase in planting, 
and if the present rate continues, it will not be long 
before the tillable part of Larimer county will be 
as one vast orchard. It was at first supposed that 
only the hardier sorts of crabs would succeed, but 
e.xperlence has shown that not only all the varieties 
of apples might be grown successfully, but also 
plums, cherries, pears, peaches (the last to a limited 



[143] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



extent), grapes, blackberries, raspberries and all 
small fruits could be raised to perfection. 

"As is general, here too, the apple occupies the 
most important place in the list of fruits planted. 
Under irrigation it attains its highest excellence. In 
no other country are apples so beautiful in color, or 
so fine in flavor, while so far as observation and 
experience go, any variety the taste desires may be 
expected to thrive. 

In a commercial way, the most profitable are 
(winter) Ben Davis, Winesap and Jonathan; 
(fall) Wealthy, Utter's Red and Haas; (summer) 
Red Astrachan, Dutchess and Red June. 

"As plant life thrives in Colorado so does insect 
life, and most of the fruits grown have each their 
peculiar enemies that can only be kept in check by 
the intelligent application of remedies. Among the 
most troublesome diseases of the apple tree in the 
past has been the blight, a fungus that attacks the 
twigs and sometimes the trunk of the tree. Its 
fatal effect has been confined mainly to the crab 
varieties and as they are dying out, so is the blight 
becoming less prevalent. There have been many 
remedies recommended for this disease, but no cure 
has ever been found. The best "remedy" is to 
plant varieties that are least subject to it, by which 
course blight is not particularly to be feared. The 
leaf roller, coddling moth and the wooly aphis 
prey on apple trees, but the use of the modern spray- 
ing apparatus and insecticides render them no dis- 
couragement to planting. 

"Pears have of late years been but little planted. 
The first plantings being for the most part killed 
out by fire blight, it was generally thought of no 
use to try further But it is now known that with 
pears, as with apples, there are kinds that do not 
blight. The Seckel and Tyson seem exceptionally 
free from the disease and there are doubtless other 
sorts later to become known. This branch of horti- 
culture has been neglected, and the one who plants a 
pear orchard of the right varieties has a fortune in 
store. 

The canons of the foothills abound with plums 
of excellent flavor and color, and experience in 
planting cultivated sorts shows Larimer county to 
be a natural plum county. In general, American 
sorts do best, some of the European kinds proving 
tender in fruit bud, but enough of the latter have 
been tested to demonstrate that we can grow plums 
of the fanciest kinds. The worst enemy to the 
plum in this region is the gouger, but its attacks 
cannot be said to prove a real injury. It gives to 
overloaded trees a thinning which, left to man, 

[144] 



they in most cases would probably not get. This 
insect does not attack European sorts. As with the 
apple, many kinds can be successfully grown, but 
perhaps the most profitable are of American sorts. 
Sunset, Cheney and Forest Garden; and of the 
European, Moore's Arctic, Saratoga and Bradshaw. 
Other kinds may rank with these, or even supercede 
them, but so far nothing better is known. 

"It is only the past few years that cherries have 
been planted in a commercial way, but present 
indications are that lost time will shortly be fully 
made up. So rapid has been the planting that as 
a consequence prices of trees are being advanced 
by eastern nurserymen. A single orchard planted 
last season consists of 11,000 trees, and there are 
numberless orchards of lesser amount. Cherries 
thrive wonderfully well in this latitude, and no 
doubt a large part of the country will in time de- 
pend on northern Colorado for this excellent fruit. 
The sorts principally planted are the Early Rich- 
mond and English Morello. Of the two, the 
Morello is larger and more productive at an early 
age, but seems to have an inherited weakness and 
as a rule is short lived. Mr. B. B. Harris is con- 
sidered the father of the cherry in the county, and 
it is mainly due to his effort that so many have been 
planted. As yet no insect preys on the cherry here. 

"Peaches have not as yet been successfully grown 
in Larimer county, the winters being too severe. 
It seems to make no difference as to variety. They 
can be grown by protection, and it is possible the 
conditions may so change, by the modifying of the 
seasons, that in time even peaches can be grown 
profitably. The present season would indicate this, 
there being many trees loaded with fruit, and that 
without any winter protection. 

"Any of the hardy grapes do well in the county. 
They bear abundantly, and need no protection after 
the first two or three years. Not much attention 
has been given to the planting of vineyards for the 
reason that grapes are shipped in from the East at 
such low prices that other branches of the business 
offer larger returns, though that grapes could be 
raised at a fair profit there is no reason to doubt. 

"Enormous crops of strawberries are produced 
every year. So many new varieties are annually in- 
troduced, that from the long list of good sorts it 
would be difficult to name a few to be called best. 

"Blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries and cur- 
rants do splendidly in a money m.aking way, with 
very little trouble from insects or diseases. Black- 
berries and raspberries have to be protected by a 
covering through the winter, but this labor is not 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



a loss, as the thorough cultivation thus given well 
pays for the labor cost. 

"Of the wild or native fruits growing, the list is 
quite a large one, though the size and the quality 
of some of the fruits are not quite up to what it 
was in an early day; due to the filling up of the 
country with cattle which keeps tender shoots 
nipped off and thus prevent renewal. Many of 
the best fruits have been killed out and lost, though 
quite a number have been saved and added to the 
list of cultivated sorts. There are still to be found 
plums, cherries, currants, gooseberries, juneberries, 
buffalo berries, raspberries and strawberries, some 
of them the best flavor of any fruits grown. It is 
likely that the most value to be got from these 
native fruits is by crossing with the cultivated 
sorts and getting new hardy strains with added 
flavor. 

"Colorado is justly noted for the color and flavor 
produced. So much is this the case that often old 
fruits in the East are not recognized after being 
brought under irrigation in the sunny clime of 
Colorado. And there is very good reasons for this 
change in the fruit. Heat, light and moisture are 
three necessary requirements for the perfect de- 
velopment of fruit, and these we have to depend 
upon. In the East when they get moisture they 
also get cool and cloudy weather, whereas here when 
moisture is needed, the headgate need only be 
raised and while the warm soil is absorbing moist- 
ure at roots of the tree, the bright sun overhead is 
coloring and perfecting the growing fruit. So 
much is the growing in the hands of man in Colo- 
rado, that fruit can almost be grown in color and 
flavor to order and still, with all these advantages 
for growing the finest fruits on earth, the same old 
croakers who preached for years that fruit could 
not be raised in Colorado, are now crying it is 
going to be overdone and when the trees now 
planted get to bearing crops there will be no de- 
mand for the fruit. For many reasons there would 
seem to be no danger of an overproduction. We 
are now undoubtedly passing through the most un- 
profitable period in fruit growing; rather too much 
for local needs and not enough for export. East- 
ern competitors need not be feared. They have 
their off years, while through the application of 
irrigation just when needed, fruit buds can be 
made to form here every year. Thus it is seen, 
Colorado can compete with the East in any year, 
and advantage can be taken of their "off" years to 
obtain better prices. From a small beginning only 
a few years ago the fruit industry has advanced 



with rapid strides until it has become one of the 
most important industries in the state, and with 
the same rate of progress it will outstrip all others 
and take its place at the head. From a horti- 
cultural point of view,- Larimer county has bright 
prospects." 

County Fair Association 

Following the completion of the Colorado Cent- 
ral railroad from Denver to' Cheyenne in 1877, 
immigration set in with considerable force and the 
county began filling up quite rapidly, so that at the 
close of 1878 the population had increased to about 
3,000. Most of the new-comers were farmers from 
the middle west who came, as a general thing, 
with well-filled purses, strong hearts and willing 
hands to seek new homes in a more genial climate 
and where future prospects were brighter. Some 
of these purchased improved or partly improved 
farms, but by far the greater number located on 
new land, either under irrigating ditches already 
constructed or under new projects that were in 
course of construction. They were, in the main, an 
enterprising class of people who brought with 
them the inbred customs and habits of their former 
eastern homes. In this western land they missed 
many of the social advantages they had been ac- 
customed to, and with a spirit characteristic of in- 
telligent, well-bred native born Americans, they 
promptly set about supplying the missing links. 
One of the things they missed was the annual 
county fair, which had been a prominent feature in 
their former homes, and one in which they had 
taken a great deal of interest, and naturally, they 
desired to have it established and made a perman- 
ent institution in their new home. 

The year 1878 was a fruitful one in Larimer 
county. Crops were good and the live stock in- 
terests had made rapid gains, consequently condi- 
tions were favorable for starting a movement in 
favor of organizing a county fair association. This 
was done in October of that year. The local 
newspapers discussed the subject freely and con- 
siderable interest was aroused among the people, 
especially among the farmers and stockmen of the 
county. It was finally thought best to organize a 
county fair association as a joint stock company 
with a capital of $3,000 divided into one hundred 
shares of $30 each. The stock was soon sub- 
scribed and an informal meeting of the shareholders 
was held in Wilson's hall on Saturday evening, 
November 16th. John C. Matthews presided,' and 



[145] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



I. W. Bennett was secretary. At this meeting a 
committee composed of A. R. Chaffee, A. J. Ames 
and Joseph Prendergast was chosen to select suitable 
fair grounds, not less than forty acres to be fitted up 
by the association, for holding county fairs and speed 
contests. This committee reported November 19th 
that forty acres of ground belonging to W. C. 
Stover, situated about one mile east of town, which 
could be obtained for $640, had been selected. The 
land was purchased and preparations for holding a 
county fair in the fall of 1879, were begun. On 
Monday evening the share holders held another 
meeting and perfected a permanent organization 
by electing N. H. Meldrum, president; J. W. Nor- 
vell, secretary; Joseph Prendergast, treasurer; 
Sherman Smith, Charles Baldwin, W. P. Morgan, 
Thomas Earnest, Marsh Jones, A. J. Derby and A. 
R. Chaffee, directors. The name adopted was the 
Larimer County Agricultural and Mechanical 
Association. 

The first county fair was held on Thursday, 
Friday and Saturday, October 9th, 10th and 11th, 
1879, and it was a successful one. The exhibits 
in the agricultural, stock growing, mechanical and 
fine arts departments were excellent and attractive 
and the racing good. About 300 entries were made; 
the weather fine and the attendance better than ex- 
pected. 

At the second annual meeting of the stockhold- 
ers, held Saturday evening, Oct. 11, a new board 
of directors and new officers were elected as fol- 
lows: Directors, John E. Washburn, Thomas H. 
Johnson, Joseph Mason, Geo. E. Buss, W. S. 
Taylor, W. F. Watrous, Wm. N. Bachelder, 
Joseph Prendergast, E. E. Edwards, A. H. Patter- 
son and H. Stratton. The directors elected the 
following officers: President, Joseph Mason; vice- 
president, John E. Washburn; secretary, Harris 
Stratton ; treasurer, Geo. E. Buss ; superintendent, 
Joseph Prendergast. 

The second fair was held four days, ending Fri- 
day, September 24th, 1880. A greater number of 
exhibits was displayed in each department than at 
the first fair, and the exposition was a success in 
every way except financially. Owing to windy 
weather and clouds of dust the attendance was 
light and the association came out in debt. The 
annual meeting of the stockholders was held on 
Thursday evening, September 23rd, and elected 
the following directors : John Riddle, Joseph 
Prendergast, W. F. Scribner, George S. Brown, A. 
J. Ames, Edson Warren, W. P. Morgan, John 
Hahn, J. G. Coy and R. Q. Tenney. 

[146] 



The third fair was held September 21st to 24th, 
1881. The weather was fine, the exhibits in each 
department numerous, the attendance on the last 
three days unusually good, and the entertainment 
in the speed ring attractive. Altogether it was a 
successful and profitable county fair. John G. Coy 
was president of the association and R. Q. Tenney, 
secretary. 

The annual meeting of the stockholders was 
held Saturday evening, September 24, and the 
board of directors elected was composed of William 
Calloway, N. C. Alford, J. G. Coy, Joseph Pren- 
dergast, John Riddle, W. F. Scribner, R. Q. 
Tenney, Edson Warren, P. Anderson, James 
Neville, J. J. Ryan and James Sullivan. Secre- 
tary Tenney reported the association in a flourish- 
ing condition, with funds enough on hand to meet 
all matured liabilities and money to spare. The 
directors elected as follows: President, J. G. Coy, 
Vice-President, Joseph Prendergast; Treasurer, N. 
C. Alford ; Secretary, R. Q. Tenney ; Superintend- 
eent, W. F. Scribner. 

The fourth county fair was held September 23 
to 26, 1882. The exhibits were not up to the 
standard set in 1881, either in number or quality, 
and the attendance was light. 

The fifth annual county fair opened Wednes- 
day, October 3rd, 1883, with a fine display of live 
stock and agricultural products. Among the 
features were races between the Fort Collins hook 
and ladder company and the Greeley hooks, and hose 
teams of the two towns. The Greeley firemen won 
the first and tied with the locals in second race. At 
the close of that year's exposition the Larimer 
County Agricultural and Mechanical Association 
found itself deeply involved in debt and it was 
deemed best to effect a reorganization and start 
anew with more capital. To this end a meeting 
of the shareholders was held early in 1884, at which 
the following statement of the financial condition 
of the old association was read : 

"The present financial condition of the associa- 
tion is as follows : 

"There is an incumbrance on the 40 acres of 
land owned by the association and due 

"February 1st, 1885, of $3,000.00 

"Interest on the above now overdue 360.00 

"Interest that will be due February 1st, 

1885 360.00 

"Taxes and other liabilities now overdue. . 640.00 

"Total $4,360.00 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER 



COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



"The following proposition was then submitted 
to the meeting and adopted: 

" 'It is proposed to transfer the property to a 
new association to be known as the Larimer County 
Fair Association, for the sum of $4,000, the new 
association to pay $1,000 in cash to the L. C. A. M. 
and assume the encumbrance of $3,000 and interest 
as from the 1st of February, 1884, the cash pay- 
ment of $1,000 being used by the old association 
to pay the $360 interest now due and the $640 of 
other liabilities. The subscribers to the stock of 
the new association and amount of each subscrip- 
tion follows: F. L. Carter-Cotton, $250.00; W. F. 
Scribner, $250.00; I. W. Bennett, $250.00; James 
Sweeney, $250.00; Thos. Earnest, $250.00; Ab. 
Loomis, $250.00 ; P. Anderson, $250.00 ; N. C. Al- 
ford, $250.00; M. F. Jones, $250.00; Rogers & 
Williams, $250.00; John Riddle, $250.00; F. W. 
Sherwood, $250.00; B. F. Hottel, $250.00; J. S. 
McClelland, $250.00; W. B. Miner, $250.00; F. 
G. Bartholf, $200.00 ; P. S. Wilson, $250.00 ; Jas. 
B. Arthur, $250.00; John L. Routt, $200.00; T. A. 
Gage, $200.00; J. A. Brown, $200.00; Andrew 
McGinley, $200.00; H. T. Miller, $200.00; A. D. 
Gifford, $200.00; G. R. Strauss, $200.00; F. R. 
Baker, $200.00; Jud. Bristol, $200.00.'" 

The new association was incorporated with a cap- 
ital of $6,250, the debts of the old association were 
paid off and plans laid for holding a county fair 
in September. The Industrial Association which 
conducted the county fair from 1879 was not suc- 
cessful. The new association, reorganized from the 
old, brought together men who were known as men 
who did nothing by halves, men of energy and enter- 
prise, men of influence, men of wealth, embracing 
some of the most substantial citizens of the county. 
These men went to work with a will and made 
many improvements on the fair grounds, including 
the erection of a fine arts hall and several additional 
stock pens and stalls for horses, and placed the 
speed ring in first-class condition. The officers of 
the new association were: President, F. L. Carter- 
Cotton ; Vice-President, Abner Loomis ; Secretary, 
I. W. Bennett; Treasurer, W. B. Miner; Direct- 
ors, John Riddle, F. W. Sherwood, B. F. Hottel, 
M. F. Jones, F. L. Carter-Cotton, Abner Loomis, 
I. W. Bennett and W. B. Miner. 

The exposition held that year beginning Sep- 
tember 25th was far superior in every respect to any 
of its predecessors. The entries made in the differ- 
ent departments numbered 815, the number in each 
department being as follows: Farm products, 167; 
fruit and flowers, 20; dairy and poultry products, 



186; horses and mules, 77; cattle, 62; sheep and 
hogs, 40 ; poultry, 20 ; fine arts and manufactures, 
121 ; miscellaneous, 123. There were 208 exhibitors 
and the premiums paid amounted to more than 
$3,000. The attendance during the four days was 
about 6,000. Col. John M. Chivington, the hero 
of Sand Creek, delivered the address. Hon. Alva 
Adams, democrat; Hon. B. H. Eaton, republican, 
and Hon. John E. Washburn, greenbacker, all 
candidates for Governor of Colorado, were among 
the distinguished visitors at the fair. Harris Strat- 
ton won the $75 sweepstake prize offered by F. L. 
Carter-Cotton for the best display of agricultural 
products. 

Under the auspices of the reorganized association, 
excellent fairs were held in 1885-6-7-8-9-90 and 91, 
an increased number of entries being made each suc- 
ceding year, with a corresponding increase in the 
number of prizes awarded, and in the cost of man- 
agement which required a large amount of money 
each year to meet expenses. The receipts, theugh 
growing in amount each year, were insufficient to 
pay out, and the stockholders had to go down in 
their pockets to make up the deficency or resort to 
borrowing. They got tired of this after the fair of 
1891 and decided to discontinue the holding of 
annual fairs, until such time as the population of 
the county had reached a figure that warranted 
the necessary outlay. Then the pariic of 1893 came 
on, upsetting the financial affairs of the whole coun- 
try, making the attempt to resuscitate the enterprise 
and put it on a paying basis an extremely hazardous 
one for the association and not to be considered. 

On December 14th, 1897, the association sold 
the fair grounds and their appurtenances to the 
county for a poor farm and county hospital pur- 
poses, to which uses the property has since been 
applied. The deed was signed by Peter Anderson, 
president, and T. A. Gage, secretary of the associa- 
tion. Since 1891 there have been no regular county 
fairs held in this county. Loveland in 1892, inaugu- 
rated a system of street fairs to take the place of a 
county fair and these have been quite successful. 

In the spring of 1904 the Gentleman's Riding 
and Driving Club was organized, with F. W. 
Sherwood as president. This club held racing 
matinees every few weeks that year on the old fair 
grounds track with much success. In July the club 
appointed a committee composed of Peter Ander- 
son, Abner Loomis and C. O. Culver to examine 
and report lands suitable for race track and fair 
grounds, which were being offered for sale. The 
club purchased 45 acres of the Scott-Sherwood 



[147] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



ranch, located about one mile west of the business 
center of the city for $6,000, and began at once to 
fit the track up for a speed ring and fair grounds. 
The track was named Prospect Park and still goes 
by that name. The Fort Collins Park Amusement 
company was incorporated to take over the property, 
the directors for the first year being C. K. Gould, 
L. R. Rhodes, A. W. Scott, S. H. Clammer and E. 
D. Avery. 

Improvement of the grounds and the fitting 
of them for the race meet began at once. One of 



of $40,000, the proceeds of the sale of which to be 
used in defraying the cost of erecting a court house. 
The bonds, drawing 6 per cent interest, were sold 
in April, 1887, to Rollin H. Bond of Denver, and 
on May 5, 1887, the county commissioners 
awarded the contract for constructing the building 
to Barney Des Jardines of Fort Collins, his bid of 
$39,379.96 being the lowest. Mr. Des Jardines 
sublet the stone work to Kemoe & Bradley, the 
brick work to John G. Lunn, the plastering to D, 
F. O'Loughlin, the painting to Sm.ith & Soult, 




LARIMER COUNTY'S FIRST COURT HOUSE, USED AS SUCH FROM 1864 TO 1868 



the best race tracks, a grand stand, judges' stand, 
offices, horse stables and a high board fence around 
the track were built. The first race meet was held 
October 6th, 7th and 8th, 1904. These meets 
have been kept up every year since then with a fair 
measure of success. One or two attempts have 
been made to hold an agricultural, live stock and 
industrial exposition in connection with the race 
meets, but for some reason these have not met with 
popular favor. Prospect Park is also used for ball 
games and other amusements of that character. 

Larimer County Court House 

In November, 1886, the people of Larimer 
county, by a large majority, voted in favor of issu- 
ing the corporate bonds of the county to the amount 

[148] 



doing the carpenter and joiner work himself. The 
building was designed by William Quayle of Den- 
ver. The board of county commissioners was 
composed of William P. Bosworth, chairman, A. S. 
Benson and Harry H. Scott, and James E. Du 
Bois was county clerk. The corner stone of the 
structure, a handsome block of red sandstone 
donated to the county by the Fort Collins Red- 
stone company, was laid on Thursday, August 
11th, 1887, with appropriate Masonic ceremonies, 
conducted by representatives of the Grand Lodge 
of Colorado. These representatives were Worship- 
ful Master, E. Love, acting Grand Master; James 
B. Arthur, acting Deputy Grand Master; F. J. 
Annis, acting Grand Senior Warden; John W. 
Young, acting Grand Junior Warden; William C. 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



Stover, acting Grand Treasurer; S. H. Seckner, 
acting Grand Secretary; Andrew Armstrong, 
Grand Chaplain. A double quartette, composed 
of Mesdames W. T. Rogers, E. S. Cain, J. M. 
Davidson and George W. Bailey; Rev. D. C. 
Pattee, A. D. Abbott, W. H. Headley and George 
A. Webb, with Miss Carrie Armstrong presiding at 
the organ, rendered music on this occasion. The 
address was delivered by Judge Thomas M. Robin- 
son, which, because of its appropriate reference to 
pioneer days in Larimer county and conditions then 
existing, we reproduce here in full: — 

"Most Worshipful Grand Master and Ladies 
and Gentlemen : — 

"In the life of every individual there are times 
when, by force of circumstances, his mind is carried 
back to his earliest recollections and all his ex- 
periences pass again before him. This is no vain or 
idle process of the mind. It is Nature's method 
of impressing the lesson of the past, to be treasured 
as precious precepts for guidance in future life and 
conduct. At such times the past stands again be- 
fore us to admonish us with respect to the future, 
warning us against a repetition of mistakes which 
resulted in disappointment and disaster, and en- 
couraging with rich promises all who will be guided 
by its instruction. As it is with individuals, so it is 
with communities, with states, with nations. 
Some public occasion arrests the public attention, 
and causes the public mind to wander back over 
the years of its past history. This is such an 
occasion. 

"Today we are engaged in laying the cornerstone 
of an elegant structure dedicated to public uses, 
and our mind is carried back, not many years, when 
the territory comprised in this county was com- 
posed of sterile mountains and barren plains. 
Savages, depending on the chase of animals as fierce 
and wild as themselves for subsistence, stood ready 
with bloody hands and welcomed the adventurous 
pioneer to destruction and to death. But the old- 
timers, undaunted by danger and reckless of hard- 
ship, impelled by dissapointment elsewhere or by 
the life of adventure here, came, and came to stay. 
They came and erected homes in the valleys of the 
Big Thompson and Cache la Poudre, that stream 
whose name is in itself a perpetual memorial of the 
vicissitudes and dangers the pioneer had to en- 
counter. Looking back we cannot see a single ray 
of hope to encourage them to settle here, sur- 
rounded, as they were, by barbarous savages, who, 
it they did not always dare to kill, never hesitated 
to steal. 



"Under such conditions, surrounded by such difE- 
culties, the foundations of your present prosperity 
were laid, and the green fields and happy homes for 
which these valleys are noted became a possibility; 
but material prosperity was not alone all that re- 
sulted from the work of the old-timers. Wherever 
they went, whether riding the range in care of their 
stock or tilling the soil, they carried with them that 
love of order and fair dealing which is the prom- 
inent characteristic of our people. Before municipal 
authority was established or provided, they had 
their own rules and regulations; they had their own 




LARIMER COUNTY COURT HOUSE 

tribunals and respected and enforced their decisions. 
It may be that those rules and principles were crude 
— that they did not possess the exactness of a science 
or the fulness of a system of jurisprudence, yet they 
were conceived in fairness, and founded upon right, 
and they were sufficient for the needs of the time, 
and many of them have since been incorporated in 
our statutes and constitution as rich contributions 
to the law. 

"The old-timers came to the valleys of Larimer 
county at a time when there was no encourage- 
ment. They settled and toiled amid dangers and 
hardships and privations to lay the foundation of 
our present civilization and prosperity, and when 
they were accomplished it was protected by no 
higher law than that which custom gave them — the 
right to protect it themselves. It is true, that in 
many things they had their faults, but they also 
had their virtues. It is true they transacted business 
in a way we could not transact it now. They could 
try a case on horseback, hold an arbitration in a 
corral, or lynch court wherever they could find a 
man they wanted to hang. But the times now give 

[149] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



the people more accommodations than were required 
then. It is the fulfillment of the requirements of 
the times that this court house is to be erected. 
The necessity for such a building is now urgent. 
In times past it was not. The people then felt the 
greater need of school houses and churches. The 
first public buildings erected were for educational 
and religious purposes. They were content to 
waive for awhile the convenience of a court house 
that more important matters might not be neg- 
lected. 

"But the times have changed. Instead of the 
cheerless waste that greeted the pioneer's eye, rich 
fields of waving grain and kindred evidence of pros- 
perity are now to be seen on every hand. The 
tepees of the savage have disappeared and in their 
stead on every side are to be seen the beautiful 
homes of an enlightened and prosperous people. 
Cities and towns have sprung up and thousands of 
people have come to dwell with us. This change 
brought with it a vast increase of business and com- 
merce and has produced complications which require 
other methods for their adjustment and the times 
can afford better accommodations than those re- 
quiredMn the early days. It is to fulfill the require- 
ments of these times that we erect this building, 
dedicated to Justice, and we are only carrying out 
a part of the work left to us by those who wrought 
before us. It is for us to complete it. It is our 
duty, as citizens, to see not only that this building 
is completed according to its original design, but 
to see that the purposes for which it was erected 
are never perverted ; to see to it that the officers and 
all who are called upon to minister to the public 
here, are capable, competent and honest; to see to it 
that they are men who understand their duty and 
will fearlessly perform it; officers whose characters 
are such as to command the confidence of all who 
are wronged and oppressed, and to inspire terror 
among wrong-doers and oppressors ; to see to it that 
the judges who are called to preside here are men 
whose judgment can be influenced by nothing save 
the law and the testimony. If we do this and do it 
faithfully and earnestly, the building will be con- 
secrated in public esteem as a place where innocence 
and right are always secure; where the ends of 
justice are always accomplished, in very truth, a 
Temple of Justice. 

"If we engage our five talents to promote the 
ends of education and religion, with the zeal and 
fidelity with which the old-timers engaged their 
two talents — if we labor to promote the general 
welfare and material prosperity of the county as the 



old-timers labored to promote it — the next genera- 
tion when called by some public occasion to look 
back upon what is accomplished, will acknowledge 
itself to be under a debt of gratitude to us, such a 
debt of gratitude as we are under to the old-timers." 

Larimer County Stock Growers' 
Association 

The Larimer County Stock Grower's associa- 
tion was organized August 20th, 1884, at Liver- 
more. It grew out of the necessity for a different 
and more efficient kind of watch and guard over 
live stock than that observed on the Plains, the 
range being entirely in a mountainous country. 
There were represented by the association 2,500 
head of horses and 15,000 head of cattle, which 
ranged on an area of 1,000 square miles. The offi- 
cers were: President, T. A. Gage; Vice-President, 
Frank Kibler; Secretary and Treasurer, S. B. 
Chaffee. The Executive Committee was composed 
of the officers of the association and the following 
stockmen : J. H. Bristol, F. L. Carter-Cotton, 
F. J. Spencer, C. E. Roberts, Russell Fisk, A. H. 
Morgan, John S. Williams, A. W. Haygood, Fred 
Christman, T. B. Bishopp and C. N. Campbell. It 
included in its membership nearly all the stock- 
men of Livermore, Alford, Bush, Tie Siding, Box- 
elder, Bristol, Virginia Dale, Laporte, St. Cloud, 
Granite Canon, Wyoming, Elkhorn and stockmen 
from Berthoud, Cheyenne, Denver and Loveland 
who ranged live stock in the mountains of Larimer 
county. For several years the association proved 
a very useful organization in facilitating the annual 
branding and beef round-ups of cattle and in hunt- 
ing down and prosecuting horse and cattle thieves. 
As the county grew older and more thickly settled, 
followed by a thinning out of range stock, the 
necessity for keeping up the organization practically 
disappeared and it was allowed to die from lack of 
interest. 

Industries of Larimer County 

The principal industries of Larimer county 
at the present time are diversified agriculture, in- 
cluding dairying, fruit-growing, market gardening 
and stock-feeding, stock-raising, manufacturing, 
mining, lumbering and stone quarrying. Between 
the years of 1873 and 1885, sheep raising and wool 
growing held an important place in the list of pro- 
fitable industries in the county, there being in 1880 
about 75,000 sheep feeding on the ranges within 



[150] 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



its confines. The encroachment of new settlers 
who took up the land for farming purposes, so 
lessened the grazing grounds that flock-masters were 
compelled to move into Wyoming and Montana to 
find pasture for their flocks, so that but a few range 
sheep, comparatively speaking, are now kept in the 
county. In the early days of the industry flock- 
masters were greatly prospered and the most of 
them made money. Their grazing grounds cost 
them nothing, so after deducting the wages of herd- 
ers, the amount received for the wool clip was 
almost clear gain. In 1880 one firm alone shipped 
more than 100,000 pounds of wool from the 
county. 

In the list of present day industries, agriculture 
stock-raising and stock- feeding easily take the lead, 
as Larimer county is essentially a farming district. 
The value of the yearly products of the farm and 
range exceed $3,000,000, and the amount invested 
in farm property is estimated at $25,000,000;^ In 
1909 the estimated value of domestic animals owned 
in the county was about $2,000,000. These in- 
cluded 9,948 horses, 516 mules, 18,965 cattle, all 
ages, 5,656 sheep, 1,726 swine and 159 other 
animals. The character and value of the products 
of the farm for 1909 are given elsewhere in this 
volume. The feeding and fattening of cattle and 
sheep for market has also grown to an import- 
ant industry. But a few years ago stock feed- 
ing pens of the county contained 400,000 sheep and 
lambs and about 10,000 head of cattle. The feed- 
ing pens are filled in the fall and the animals fed 
through the winter all the alfalfa they will eat, in 
addition to a ration of corn or ground coarse grain 
and beet pulp. On this food they rapidly take on 
flesh and are marketed at the packing centers in the 
East or in Denver. This business, one year with 
another, yields the feeder a good profit on his in- 
vestment, besides making a home market for his 
surplus hay and other rough forage. The animals 
are kept in open pens, and require no shelter or 
protection from storms or cold during the winter, 
owing to favorable climatic conditions. 

Next in importance to agriculture and stock- 
raising comes manufacturing. From small begin- 
nings this industry has become worthy of notice as 
a factor in the growth and development of the 
material prosperity of the county. Until the ad- 
vent of the beet sugar making industry in 1901-3, 
manufacturing was mainly limited to the conversion 
of the wheat and coarse grains grown in the county 
into flour and ground stock food. For this purpose 
there were and still are four mills, two in Fort 



Collins and one each in Loveland and Berthoud. 
These mills buy all the wheat grown in the county, 
thus providing the producers near-by markets for 
their grain, and can turn out 500,000 one hundred 
pound sacks of flour per annum. They also con- 
vert thousands of tons of course grains, like corn, 
oats and barley into ground stock food, each year, 
for the feeders. Besides supplying the home demand 
for flour, the mills annually ship hundreds of car 
loads into New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Texas 
and some going as far south as Georgia. In addi- 
tion to the flour mills there were several busy saw 




FORT COLLIxNS SUGAR FACTORY, BUILT IN 1903 

mills in the mountains at work converting pine logs 
into boards and building timbers for the use of 
settlers in erecting their unpretentious homes. This 
industry engaged the attention of some of the 
pioneers in the early history of the county. The 
first saw-mill, a portable one, brought into the 
county was located on the bank of the river near 
where William Falloon now lives northwest of 
Laporte. This mill was owned by James Oben- 
chain and he began manufacturing lumber in 1863 
or 1864. The logs were cut in the canon of the 
Cache la Poudre in the winter and floated down to 
the mill during the spring floods. Later Joseph 
Rist set up a mill in Rist canon where he cut out 
many hundred thousand feet of lumber, much of 
which was hauled to Cheyenne and marketed. Chey- 
enne was a booming town at that time and was a 
good market for building material of all kinds. 
Along in the 70's the lumber industry became quite 
important and furnished employment to a large num- 
ber of men and teams. Logging crews were sent 
into the mountains in the fall and the logs were cut 
and banked at the river's edge ready to be rolled 
into the water when the floods swelled the stream 
and then floated down to the two mills at Greeley 

[151] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



and the mill in Fort Collins which stood near to 
where the Linden street bridge now stands, and 
there sawed into lumber. The demand for lumber 
increased rapidly during the twenty years follow- 
ing 1880 and several portable mills were set up at 
different points in the mountains wherever there 
was timber suitable for sawing, and millions of feet 
of native lumber was cut and marketed in the valley 
towns during that period. When the timber in the 
vicinity of a mill became exhausted the mills would 
be moved to a new site where timber was plenti- 
ful and more accessible. But the mill men were 
poaching on government land and taking timber 
that belonged to the public. This came to the ears 
of federal officials after a while and they put a stop 
to the wholesale cutting of logs on the public lands. 
Since then and particularly since the establishment 
of the Colorado Forest reserve, the lumbermen 
have been required to buy the timber of the govern- 
ment and also restricted to cutting matured trees 
that have been marked for lumber by the forest 
officers. This policy has served to reduce the num- 
ber of mills in operation and to limit the quantity 
of lumber manufactured, but the annual cut still 
amounts to considerable, all of which is marketed 
in the county, none of it being shipped to outside 
points. The introduction of sugar making was 
followed by the establishment of other manufactur- 
ing enterprises which are furnishing markets for 
raw material and giving employment to labor. The 
total amount invested in the county at this time in 
manufacturing enterprises exceeds $3,500,000 and 
the value of the annual product to about $6,000,000. 

A list of the more important manufacturing 
establishments in the county would include : 

Two immense sugar factories. 

Two large pressed brick-making plants. 

Two large stucco and plaster mills. 

Four large flouring mills. 

A fruit and vegetable canning factory. 

One cement tile factory. 

One large foundry and machine shop and several 
small ones. 

An alfalfa meal mill factory. 

Two planing mills and door factories. 

Several cigar factories. 

Larimer county contains an inexhaustable supply 
of the very best building, paving and curbing stone 
and flagging for sidewalks, including white, gray 
and red sand stone, granite and mottled marble. 
The quarries are located at Bellvue, Stout and 
Arkins and at one time between 1882 and 1890 
more than one thousand men were employed in 

[152] 



them getting out building stone, paving blocks, 
curbings and flaggings and many of the finest build- 
ings in Denver, Omaha and Kansas City, were 
constructed of white, gray and red sand stone taken 
from these quarries. The Union Pacific Railroad 
company built a spur in 1882 from Fort Collins to 
Stout, a distance of fourteen miles, over which 
thousands of carloads of stone have been shipped to 
Denver, Omaha, Cheyenne, Greeley and Fort 
Collins. The railroad company constructed a 
branch line from Loveland to the quarries at Arkins, 
which has been in operation for more than twenty 
years and over which immense quantities of building 
and paving stone have been shipped. These quar- 
ries are still being worked and a large force of men 
is constantly employed in them. The Stout and 
Bellvue quarries have been lying practically dormant 
the past few years and about two years ago the 
railroad track from Stout to Bellvue was taken up. 
The Union Pacific Railroad company owned and 
operated the quarries at Stout for several years. 
There are still a number of private quarries near 
Stout that are being worked to a greater or less 
extent by their owners, but the product is now 
hauled by teams to Fort Collins. 

Excellent granite ledges exist in the hills west 
of Loveland, from which large quantities of beauti- 
ful granite have been quarried and shipped to Den- 
ver. In the hills northwest of Fort Collins are 
immense beds of mottled marble, but these have 
never been opened and worked to any extent. No 
doubt the time will come when this marble will be 
in demand for building and furniture-making 
purposes. At Ingleside, sixteen miles northwest 
of Fort Collins, immense lime stone quarries were 
opened in 1904 and these are furnishing employ- 
ment the year around to a great many men. Lime 
is used to quite an extent in the manufacture of 
beet sugar and the supply of lime stone for several 
of the sugar factories in the Northern part of Colo- 
rado comes from these quarries. Some idea of the 
importance of this industry may be gathered from 
the statement that the Fort Collins sugar factory 
alone uses between 6,000 and 7,000 tons of lime 
stone every year. The stone is reduced to lime at the 
factory in large kilns especially constructed for that 
purpose. 

Tens of thousands of dollars in money and many 
years of time have been expended in prospecting the 
hills of Larimer county for the precious metals, but 
up to this time the returns in dollars and cents bear 
no comparison to the cost. They have been ex- 
ceedingly meagre. Gold, silver, copper, zinc and 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



lead have been found in sufficient quantities to 
justify the keeping up of the search, but never in 
large enough bodies to justify systematic and 
scientific mining. Almost every foot of the mount- 
ain region from the southern to the northern bound- 
aries of the county, and from the foothills to the 
summit of the Medicine Bow range has been pros- 
pected, but not a single profit producing mine has 
ever been opened and worked. It is probable that 
the Spaniards who set out from Santa Fe in 1720 
and explored the country from their starting point 
to the Yellowstone in search of gold, prospected the 
streams of Larimer county for the yellow metal, 
but they never returned to report the result. They 
fell victims to the murderous instincts of the savages 
upon whose domain they were trespassing. Later, 
in 1858, a part of Green Russell's band of gold 
hunters came north from Cherry creek to Box- 
elder looking for gold, but their quest proved un- 
fruitful. Since that time not a year has passed that 
some kind of a mining excitement has not been de- 
veloped at some point in the mountains. The years 
1863-4-5 and 6 were prolific in the number of 
mineral discoveries. Mining companies were or- 
ganized, claims filed upon and mining districts es- 
tablished with a full list of officials, and some 
desultory mining done, but it amounted to nothing. 
Float copper was discovered in 1865 in Howe 
gulch eight miles west of Fort Collins, by a soldier. 
Considerable work was done on this claim and then 
it was abandoned. The claim remained untouched 
for several years when it was relocated by W. C. 
Dilts and given the name of the "Empire'' copper 
lode, which, being patented, it still bears. Dilts 
sold the claim to the Boston & Colorado Copper 
Mining company in the late 90's for $10,000. The 
company expended a large sum of money in develop- 
ment work, including the building of a large shaft 
house and installing some $8,000 worth of mining 
m.achinery. An 85-foot shaft was sunk on the 
claim, from the bottom of which a cross-cut was 
driven to intersect the vein. A few carloads of the 
ore was sent to Denver smelters for treatment but 
the returns were of such a discouraging nature that 
the enterprise was abandoned. The mine contains 
copper but not in paying quantities. 

In 1883 mineral was discovered at Crystal 
mountain and a number of locations were made 
and considerable assessment work done before a test 
of this ore was made. It was then learned that the 
ore carried zinc in small quantities and the camp 
was abandoned. Copper lodes were later dis- 
covered in Virginia Dale, at Gray Rock, St. Cloud 



and much money was expended in doing assessment 
and development work, but the locaters got cold 
feet after a while and gave up the search. 

In 1886 an organization composed of a large 
number of prominent citizens of Fort Collins was 
formed for the purpose of conducting a systematic 
search for the precious metals in the hills of the 
county. Three experienced miners and prospectors 
were employed and put into the field. In Septem- 
ber of that year these men reported gold discoveries 
on the divide between Seven Mile and Elkhorn 
creeks and a rush was made to secure locations of 
mineral claims in the district. The .surface indi- 
cations were excellent, pronounced by expert 
miners to be equal to the best ever found. Gold 
could be panned from almost any piece of crushed 
rock and the excitement reached fever heat. A 
town was started and given the name of Manhattan 
with its hotel, stores, postoffice and newspaper. 
Digging for gold was vigorously prosecuted all 
that fall and the succeeding winter and for several 
years afterwards. The country for miles around 
was honey-combed with prospect holes and incipient 
mines and in many instances good returns were 
received from assay tests of the ore. Some of the 
ores tested as high as $600 to the ton. Interest in 
the camp continued for several years and then 
practically died out although some of the claims 
are yet being worked through shafts and tunnels. It 
is the general belief that the gold is there, but that 
it lies deeper than any of the shafts have so far 
been sunk. In 1888 business men of Fort Collins 
contributed a large sum of money towards the 
cost of erecting concentrating works. The mill, 
a small affair, was built on Seven Mile creek, but 
either through faulty construction or bad manage- 
ment, it failed to meet expectations and was at 
last shut down and the machinery moved away. 
Fresh interest in the Manhattan district has been 
created the present year by the discovery of new 
mineral leads, which give promise of results in re- 
storing the old time popularity of the camp. Gold 
finds were also made in 1887-8 in the canon of the 
Cache la Poudre above Rustic, and the prospects of 
a flourishing mining camp appeared so good that 
the Zimmerman Brothers erected a five stamp mill 
and reduction works on the river bank about three 
miles above Rustic. This was put in operation 
and a large quantity of ore was crushed and re- 
duced to retorts. These were sent to St. Louis to 
be refined but the returns were so poor that the 
mill fell into disuse. Mr. John Zimmerman, how- 
ever, claims to this day that he was swindled by the 

[153] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



refiners and that the retorts were rich in gold. 
Work is being done this year on several gold claims 
situated in the vicinity of the old mill, or Poudre 
City as it was called in its palmy days. The Man- 
hattan district lies 45 miles west of Fort Collins. 

A copper vein was opened on Prairie Divide 
several years ago and good results were obtained 
from a quantity of the ore sent to the Denver 
smelters, but the vein pinched out shortly after- 
wards and the Copper Bug laid idle until early in 



tricts has been demonstrated time and time again 
beyond peradventure, but the veins lie far below the 
surface, and it will cost a great deal of money to 
uncover them. Deep mining is expensive and so 
far prospectors and claim owners have been unable 
to interest capital in their discoveries. Thus far 
capital has found greater attractions in other parts 
of the state, but the time will come when monied 
men will begin looking for mining investments in 
Larimer county, for the minerals are here. 




MANHATTAN GOLD CAMP IN 18 



1910 when further work done on it resulted in 
opening up a large body of ore that is proving to be 
rich in zinc. It is understood that preparations are 
being made to install mining machinery at the 
Copper Bug for the purpose of developing the mine 
and taking out shipping ore. There is said to be a 
large body of high per cent zinc ore in the Copper 
Bug and that it can be gotten out and refined and 
leave a good profit for the owners. 

No doubt the time will come when mining for the 
precious metals will be an important and profitable 
industry in Larimer county, for that gold, silver, 
copper, zinc and lead exists in the mountain dis- 



The northern part of the county is underlaid 
with coal and coal mining in a desultory manner by 
crude methods has been carried on for more than 
forty years. The measures lie close to the surface 
and the coal taken out of them so far does not 
possess sufficient specific gravity to entitle it to 
rank with the best coal taken out further south. It 
burns well but does not throw off the heat that 
comes from the best lignite coal of the Boulder 
county fields. In 1868 and 1869 Cheyenne de- 
pended almost entirely upon the coal beds of North- 
ern Larimer county for fuel and the farmers in 
that part of the county use it now almost ex- 



El 54] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



clusively. It is easily and cheaply mined and costs 
the consumers less to have it hauled to their homes 
than from Fort Collins. A few years ago during a 
labor strike in the Boulder mines, thousands of tons 
were hauled to Fort Collins by teams from the 
Indian Springs and Barton coal mines, a distance 
of twenty miles and consumers found it to answer 
a good purpose. In the belief that measures carry- 
ing a better quality of coal will be found by going 
down to a greater depth, drills have been set at 
work to find out if the belief is warranted. If the 
operators succeed in finding measures of good steam 
coal within three or four hundred feet, that are 
thick enough to. warrant the cost of mining it, a new 
and very important industry will be opened up — one 
that will add a great deal to the prosperity of the 
people. The Cheyenne-Wellington extension of 
the Colorado & Southern railroad crosses these 
coal fields so that transportation facilities will be 
afforded the operators of these mines, should they 
prove to be as good as it is believed they will. 

Larimer County's Volcanoes 

Larimer county prides itself upon having some 
as interesting examples of ancient volcanic dis- 
turbances as can be found in the entire Rocky 
Mountain region. These are found in the vicinity 
of Cameron Pass, about 75 miles west of Fort 
Collins. Cameron Pass divides the Medicine Bow 
mountains on the north from the main continental 
range on the south. The apex of the pass is about 
10,000 feet above sea level. It is flanked on either 
side by high ridges and lofty peaks that rise in 
altitude from 13,000 to 14,000 feet. The more 
marked evidences of volcanic action ar^ near Lake 
Zimmerman on the east side of the pass, some ten 
miles southeast of Chamber's Lake. They form 
what are known as the "The Craters," and are 
found at the northern extremity of a long ridge some 
2,000 feet above the floor of the pass. The top of 
the ridge is in the shape of a mesa or large grassy 
plateau. "The Craters" are in the form of two 
deep rocky basins divided from each other by a thin 
knife-like ridge. The northwestern walls of "The 
Craters" overlook Cameron Pass, and are in the 
form of a serrated ridge of chimney-like rocks. The 
rocks, columns and boulders are of flint-like hard- 
ness and are very finely checked, as if at some time 
they had been exposed to intense heat. The 
craters are the scene of absolute barreness ' and 
desolation. So impervious seems the surrounding 
rock that all the action of the elements for thou- 



sands of years past has failed to make the least im- 
pression upon them, so that the interstices are 
devoid of any solid deposits. Consequently even 
the hardiest plant has found no foothold among 
them. In the beds of these craters deep snow banks 
are found which have evidently been forming since 
the volcanoes cooled off, thousands of years ago, 
and quit belching their streams of fire and mud 
and clouds of steam. 

About a mile below the craters lies Lake Zim- 
merman. This body of water is about a half mile 
in diameter, and whose ultimate depths have never 
been fathomed. The waters of the lake are cold 
and clear, being constantly fed from the numerous 
springs and snow-banks above. It is thought by 
scientists that the bed of Lake Zimmerman was 
at one time the scene of some ancient volcanic 
eruption. A few miles southwest of Lake Zim- 
merman is -Lake Agnes, named in honor of Mr. 
John Zimmerman's youngest daughter. Miss Agnes 
Zimmerman. This is another fathomless pool em- 
bosomed between lofty mountain peaks. Lake 
Agnes is about two miles long and a mile wide. 
From its western and southwestern shores rise 
abruptly Finger or Sawtooth mountain and Mount 
Richthoven, the latter more than 14,000 feet high. 
Almost in the center of Lake Agnes rises a shaft- 
like point of rock on the summit of which a few 
evergreens find lodgment. Richthoven rises 3,000 
feet above the surface of the lake and may be 
ascended by a hard climb from the lake's southern 
extremity. The bed of Lake Agnes . is clearly the 
crater of an ancient volcano. Its sides are exceed- 
ingly steep and the lake evidently has great depth. 
The overshadowing mountains are of almost solid 
granite, but nevertheless, are crumbling and the 
broken fragments are gradually filling the lak£. 

To the southwest of Lake Agnes rises a third cliff 
some 2,000 feet above the surface. The face of this 
clifE is seamed, and through one of the clefts falls a 
cascade. John Zimmerman, proprietor of the Key- 
stone hotel, at Home, after whom Lake Zimmer- 
man is named, and who spent several years in a 
cabin at Cameron Pass, and who has explored and 
known these regions since 1880, maintains that this 
mountain is actually growing. He says that he 
not only knows from careful observation that the 
mountain is now higher than it was when he first 
beheld it, but that he knows there is a perceptible 
motion to its surface and certain portions of its 
interior. Always when climbing the cliff or travers- 
ing its summit he is conscious of its subtile yet per- 
ceptible stir. There are slight sounds from within 

[155] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



the cracks and caverns and a constant falling of 
loose rock. He attributes these characteristics to 
volcanic action beneath the mountain. If this be 
true, the child now living in Larimer county may 
be priviledged to witness the bursting of this moun- 
tain into a flame of fire and the pouring down its 
sides of streams of moulten lava. The pent up fires 
beneath this mountain may sometime within the 
lives of the school children burst into flames and 
throw from its interior mud, ashes and steam. Mr. 
Zimmerman also tells of a moving cave in the cliffs 



water for irrigation purposes from the Laramie river 
across a high divide and pouring it into Chambers 
lake, was written by H. A. Crafts and first appeared 
in the Scientific American, October 14, 1899. 
It contains so much of historical value and is such 
an accurate description of a stupendous piece of 
work that I deem it worth preserving: 

"The Water Supply and Storage company, of 
Foft Collins, Colorado, upon the completion of 
the Larimer County ditch, found its water supply to 
be deficient. The ditch was taken from the north 




LAKE ZIMMERMAN— ALTITUDE 11,000 FEET 



in the neighborhood of the craters near Lake Zim- 
merman. He discovered this cave in 1884, and vis- 
iting it a dozen years afterwards found that it had 
moved about fifty feet to the south and its interior 
had undergone a great change. This gives increased 
faith in the real volcanic nature of the region. 

Building of the Laramie River 
Feeder Ditch 

The following article, describing the obstacles 
and difficulties encountered and overcome by the 
Water Supply & Storage company in bringing 

[156] 



side of the Cache la Poudre river, near the foot- 
hills of the Rocky Mountain range, and leads 
through the eastern part of Larimer county and 
into Weld county. Its length is about seventy 
miles. It is thirty feet wide at the top and twenty 
feet wide at the bottom, and it has a carrying capac- 
ity of 660 cubic feet of water per second. Under 
it there are some 20,000 acres of land susceptible 
of irrigation. Owing to the amount of water taken 
from Cache la Poudre by prior appropriations, 
there was not enough left to enable the company to 
carry out its original designs. Storage reservoirs 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



in connection with the ditch were constructed on 
the Plains, having a capacity of six hundred million 
cubic feet of water. These were filled at such 
times as there was water to spare from the river, 
but even with the water thus held in reserve there 
was not enough to supply the deficiency. It 
needed not only an additional supply for the 
ditch during the irrigating season, but for 
the proper filling of the storage reservoirs. 

"To secure more water from the Cache 
la Poudre river was out of the question, nor 
were there other streams having still un- 
appropriated water at convenient distances 
and tending in the same direction. 

"At the head of the Cache la Poudre in 
the higher altitudes of the Rocky Moun- 
tains and some sixty miles above the head- 
gates of the Larimer County ditch, was 
Chambers Lake. This had been formed 
by- a deep depression, and covered at low 
water 135 acres, and at high water 212 
acres. The ditch company incorporated 
Chamber's Lake as a reservoir and con- 
structed across its outlet an immense earth- 
work dam, which raised the lake and gave 
the company one hundred and thirty million 
cubic feet of water to draw upon as they 
found it necessary. But one day, June 8th, 
1891, when the reservoir was full, there 
came a cloudburst above it, and the rush of 
the water into it, coupled with a supposed 
weakness of the dam at the wasteway, burst 
the dam, and an immense body of water 
was let loose and poured down the canon 
and into the valley below, causing great 
damage and entailing much vexatious litiga- 
tion. The loss was so. great that the com- 
pany was slow to reconstruct its dam, and 
other sources of water supply were sought. 

"In the vicinity of Chamber's Lake are 
the head waters of several other mountain 
streams. Northward some five miles on the 
northern slope of Mount Cameron are the head- 
waters of the Big Laramie river, which Hows 
northward and empties into the North Platte river 
in Wyoming. Westward about the same distance 
is Cameron Pass, where Michigan creek and several 
other small streams have their rise and flow west- 
ward down into North Park and empty at last into 
the North Platte itself. Again to the southwest- 
ward and lying beyond the Continental Divide are 
the headwaters of the Grand river, which flows 
southviresterly and empties into the Colorado river. 



which in turn flows to the Pacific. Yet the engi- 
neers upon investigation found that by tapping 
these streams at an elevation of some 10,000 feet 
above sea level, water could be conveyed over the 
intervening divides and delivered into the head- 




LARAMIE RIVER FEEDER DITCH— KNOWN 
AS THE "SKYLINE" 

waters of the Cache la Poudre, and that the water 
could be legally appropriated as the streams named 
yet held large quantities that had not been appro- 
priated for irrigation purposes. The company 
thereupon decided to obtain a portion of this water 
by bringing it over to the Cache la Poudre water- 
shed. 

"They began tapping the Big Laramie. They 
commenced their ditch which was to act as a feeder, 
high up in the gulch on the northern slope of 
Mount Cameron, where the river had a discharge 

[157] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



of some 500 cubic feet of water, and swung it round 
to the eastern flank of the mountain to Chamber's 
Lake, a distance of some five miles, where it dis- 
charges into the lake. It was a difficult piece of 
engineering, located as the ditch was at such a great 
altitude, and upon the side of a mountain whose 
slope was at an angle of about 459* There were 
three principal classes of material encountered in 
the excavation — loose earth, loose rock and solid 
rock. One tunnel 110 feet in length through solid 
rock was constructed. The difficulties of construc- 
tion may be readily imagined when it is stated that 
the ditch was constructed at least 1,500 feet above 
the base of the- mountain. In the first place, the 
timber was all cleared from the site of the proposed 
ditch and then about a foot of vegetable mould was 
scraped off down to solid ground and banked on the 
lower side. With the felled timber, log curbing 
was constructed to hold the lower bank. Where 
there was standing timber on the lower side, the 
felled timber was rolled down against it thus form- 
ing another scheme of retention. At intervals for 
at least two-thirds of the distance around the flank 
of the mountain small streams were intersected. 
These were turned into the ditch to add their waters 
to the general supply. The principal of these 
streams was Two and a Half Mile creek. The 
ditch was at first flumed across the gulch and then 
the water from the creek was carried into it over 
a latticed apron. The apron was designed to both 
break the force of the water for a better protection 
of the flume and also to permit all floatage to be 
carried over the flume and discharged into the 
creek below. 

"The ditch is five miles in length, eight feet 
wide at the bottom, and twelve feet wide at the 
top, and will carry water to the depth of four feet. 
n§ carrying capacity at its head is 240 cubic feet 
per second, but in order to embrace the water of 
the intersecting creeks, its capacity is gradually in- 
creased until at its outlet it has a carrying capacity 
of 400 feet. The ditch has stood the test well. 
The lower bank has settled down solidly and has 
not yet experienced a single break. The upper bank, 
however, is subject to a constant sliding process from 
above. Some parts of the mountain side are springy 
and from these earth slides result. It was also found 
that the swaying of the trees on the upper bank 
caused a loosening of the soil, so the standing timber 
was felled some twenty-five or thirty feet further 
back from the bank. To prevent breakage from sud- 
den floods caused by cloudbursts above, automatic 
wasteways have been constructed. Log cribbing has 



also been built upon the upper bank and along the 
most exposed parts in order to catch loose matter 
that may slide down from above. 

"The company has also reconstructed its Cham- 
ber's Lake dam, but in a more substantial manner 
than formerly. That part of the old earth dam 
which was carried out has been replaced by a 
strong dam of piling. The round piling was driven 
to depths varying from 23 to 25 feet, and the sheet 
piling from 10 to 14 feet. The dam is 11 feet high 
above the main floor, 190 feet long on the top, and 
150 feet at the bottom. The dam is built into the 
old embankment, which is 63 feet wide at the base 
and 30 feet wide on top, and is faced with crib- 
work." 

In May, 1904, this second dam was carried out 
by a flood, and in the fall of 1910 the company be- 
gan its reconstruction in a more stable and substan- 
tial form. This third dam is being built of concrete 
and will be ten feet higher than the second one 
and will impound more than double the quantity of 
water that it did. 

Newspaper History 

As already stated, the Express, founded by Joseph 
S. McClelland in April, 1873, was the first news- 
paper printed and published in Larimer county. 
It was started as a Republican paper and remained 
as such until 1896, when it espoused the politics of 
the Colorado Silver Republican party and continued 
to advocate those policies until 1900, when it re- 
turned to the Republican fold and became, and still 
continues to be an able and influential exponent of 
the principles of that party. It has passed through 
several changes of ownership and is now owned, 
controlled, edited and published by George C. and 
J. G. McCormick under the firm name of McCor- 
mick Brothers. In 1881 the Express, then owned by 
H. A. Crafts, began issuing an afternoon daily edi- 
tion, which was continued until 1884, when the 
daily was suspended. On May 28th, 1907, McCor- 
mick Brothers began issuing a morning daily edition 
of the Express in connection with their weekly, and 
the publications have been important factors in the 
upbuilding of the home of its adoption. The next 
newspaper venture was the Standard, founded in 
March, 1874, by Clark Boughton, who died a few 
months later. After his death the Standard was 
published by H. L. Myrick and W. W. Sullivan 
until 1876, when it suspended, and the press and 
material was sold to John Oliver of Black Hawk. 



[158] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



The Fort Collins Courier was founded in June, 
1878, by Ansel Watrous and Elmer M. Pelton and 
the paper is still being published. It was started 
as a Democratic paper and at once became the organ 
of the Democratic party of Larimer county, but 
after a change of ownership, in February, 1899, 
it became an advocate of the principles and policies 
of the Republican party and is still a rigid adherent 
of those principles and policies. In May, 1882, the 
Courier began issuing an evening daily edition, 
which, however, was suspended in June, 1883, 
after a little more than a year's experience. The 
publishers found the field too narrow to support 
such a daily as they were circulating and, after 
sinking more than a thousand dollars in the venture, 
decided to quit. The effort to establish a daily 
newspaper on a profitable basis was renewed in 
March, 1902, and this was successful. The Even- 
ing Courier is now nearing its ninth volume and 
is in a flourishing condition. It has been prosperous 
from the very start and is now considered one of 
the soild, substantial institutions of the city. 

The Courier is owned by the Courier Printing 
& Publishing Company, Carl Anderson, manager. 

The Reporter, the first newspaper published in 
Loveland, was founded by G. N. Udell on August 
7th, 1880. Two months later the Reporter passed 
under the control and management of Frank A. 
McClelland, eldest son of the founder of the Lar- 
imer County Express, and he sold the plant and 
subscription list to George W. Bailey and John 
Smart early in 1882. Since then the Reporter has 
had several owners, editors and publishers. At 
present it is owned and ably edited by Ira O. 
Knapp, who has established for it a reputation for 
reliability and a high regard for the right in all 
things, as well as in the manner of dealing with all 
subjects treated in its columns, which has given the 
Reporter a high standing among the best people of 
the county. The Reporter is Republican in politics. 

The Loveland Leader was started in 1883 by 
Horace P. Crafts, who discontinued its publication 
after a few months' experience in a field already 
well filled. 

In 1885 S. W. Teagarden started the Larimer 
Count Bee in Fort Collins. Two years later the 
Bee disappeared from the Fort Collins newspaper 
field. It was Republican in politics and was started 
for the purpose of driving the Express to the wall, 
but failed in its mission. Then came two other 
newspaper ventures, which had short but ill-fared 
lives. The Larimer County Republican started in 
1889 and the Fort Collins Gazette, which made its 



appearance in 1892. They came upon the stage 
of action to "fill a long felt want" and that want 
proved to be a newspaper grave. The Argus was 
started in 1899, and after passing through several 
mutations and changes of owners and name finally 
became known as the Fort Collins Review, under 
which title it is still being published daily and 
weekly. The Review is the leading Democratic 
paper in the county. It is ably edited by Edward 
D. Foster and is published by the Review Publish- 
ing company. 

In 1903 the Evening Star appeared in the Fort 
Collins newspaper firmament under the editorial 
management of I. C. Bradley. It was small in 
size, but bright and snappy and its daily appearance 
was looked forward to with considerable interest 
for ten months, when it dropped below the horizon 
and passed out of sight. 

Along sometime in the 90's, the exact date I am 
unable to give. Earl Harbaugh started the Loveland 
Register, which had a somewhat checkered career, 
finally passing off the stage of action in 1908. The 
Loveland Herald, Democratic, daily and weekly, 
was founded in 1907, and is still preaching the 
doctrines espoused and promulgated by Jefferson 
and Jackson in a sprightly and interesting manner. 
It has a large number of readers, an extra good 
advertising patronage and is steadily making money 
for its active, energetic and enterprising editor, 
Mark A. Ellison. 

Two newspapers had their birth in Berthoud, 
the Bulletin and the News, only the first named sur- 
viving. The Bulletin is independent in politics 
and is a well edited and well managed local news- 
paper and is rendering excellent service in exploit- 
ing the resources, advantages and attractions of the 
Little Thompson valley, one of the richest and 
most prosperous agricultural sections of Colorado. 
J. S. Bailey is the name of the present editor and 
proprietor. 

Though young in years, Wellington has given 
birth to two newspapers, the News and the Sun, the 
latter alone surviving. The Sun has changed hands 
several times, but is now owned and conducted by 
John E. Pope, an experienced newspaper man and 
practical printer, who is serving his clientage ably 
and well. It was founded in 1907, and has done 
much to advance the material, social and moral 
welfare of the far-famed Boxelder valley, of which 
Wellington is the commercial center. 

In February, 1887, after Manhattan had be- 
come a booming mining camp with brilliant pros- 
pects, a newspaper called the Prospector was started 

[159] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



to proclaim to the world the golden resources of its 
chosen home. The Prospector was published by the 
Manhattan Publishing company, of which Dr. M. 
A. Baker was president; I. R. Blevin, secretary, 
and F. A. McCarty, treasurer. The paper was 
short lived and passed out of existence within a year 
and the printing material was moved to Denver. 

In 19d6 Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Evans of Fort Col- 
lins launched the Beacon, a bright and sparkling 
literary weekly, which they continued to publish 
until 1909, when it was suspended. This completes 
the list of newspaper ventures in Larimer county, 
from which it appears that many were called and 
few chosen. The surviving papers are the Daily 
and Weekly Express; the Daily and Weekly Cour- 
ier, and the Daily and Weekly Review, all of Fort 
Collins; the Weekly Reporter and the Daily and 
Weekly Herald of Loveland; the Weekly Bulletin 
of Berthoud, and the Weekly Sun of Wellington. 

Postoffices in Larimer County 

The first settlers in Larimer county remained 
without a postoffice and mail facilities until 1862, 
when the Overland Stage line was transferred from 
the North Platte route to the South Platte, the line 
following the latter stream from Julesburg to Den- 
ver, thence north through Larimer county via Lit- 
tle Thompson, Big Thompson, Laporte, Virginia 
Dale to the Laramie Plains, and thence west to a 
junction with the old North Platte route. That 
year postoffices were established at Mariana's, on the 
Big Thompson, and at Laporte. The office at Mar- 
iana's was called Namaqua. A Spaniard with an 
Indian wife was postmaster. G. R. Sanderson, 
who kept a store at Laporte, was the first postmaster 
at that place. Before that date settlers had to go 
to Denver or Fort Laramie for their mail. In 1864 
a postoffice was established at Washburn's Crossing 
of the Big Thompson, and John E. Washburn was 
postmaster. It was known as the Big Thompson 
postoffice and retained that name until the Colorado 
Central Railroad was built in 1877, when it was 
changed to Loveland, which name it still bears. Soon 
after the soldiers established a military post at Fort 
Collins, in the fall of 1864, the troops were given 
mail facilities and a postoffice called Camp Collins. 
Joseph Mason was the first postmaster, the office 
being kept in his store, which stood where the City 
Drug store now stands. As the population in- 
creased and a demand grew up for them, other 
postoffices were established in different parts of the 
county where they would accommodate the greatest 

[160] 



number of people. At present there are twenty- 
four postoffices in the county, named as follows : 

Bellvue, Berthoud, Boxelder, Bulger, Drake, Elk- 
horn, Estes Park, Fort Collins, Glendevey, Glen- 
eyre, Home, Laporte, Livermore, Logcabin. Long's 
Peak, Loveland, Masonville, Moraine Park, Pine- 
wood, St. Cloud, Timnath, Virginia Dale, Waverly 
and Wellington. One of these. Fort Collins, is 
a second-class office, and two others, Loveland and 
Berthoud, are third-class offices. All the others are 
in the fourth class. There are five Rural free 
delivery routes radiating from Fort Collins, two 
from Loveland, two from Berthoud, two from Wel- 
lington and one from Bellvue. The annual re- 
ceipts at the Fort Collins office for stamps, stamped 
envelopes, postal cards sold and for box rents ex- 
ceeds $30,000. The government has appropriated 
$135,000 for a federal building containing a post- 
office, work on which is expected to be started in 
1911. 

Origin of Local Names 

I have devoted much time and energy to an effort 
to ascertain, if possible, the origin of the names given 
to localities, streams, mountains, lakes, passes, etc., 
with greater or less success. In some instances I 
have been unable, after considerable research, to 
get the desired information, even from the oldest 
inhabitants, as in the case of Namaqua. No one 
living in the county has been able to tell me how 
that name originated, nor what it signifies. It is 
unquestionably of Indian origin, but how, when 
and by whom it was bestowed and what it means are 
among things which have escaped the memory (if 
they ever knew) of all the surviving pioneers. In 
several instances the origin of the names given to 
localities is indicated in the historical sketches of 
those localities, as in the case of Fort Collins, Love- 
land, Big Thom.pson, Livermore, Laporte, Virginia 
Dale, Stove Prairie and Buckhorn. In addition to 
these, the following list of names under separate 
captions, is presented in the belief that the history 
of their origin should be preserved for the benefit 
of future generations : 

Naming of the Cache la Poudre 
River 

The true story of how the Cache la Poudre river 
got its name was told me by the late Abner Loomis 
and printed in the Fort Collins Courier of February 
8th, 1883. This story came to Mr. Loomis from 
first hand, having been told to him by his long time 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



personal friend, the late Antoine Janis, the first 
white settler in Larimer county, who was a member 
of a party of freighters that was snow-bound near 
the present town of Bellvue, in November,. 1836. 
The story as it was printed in the Courier more than 
a quarter of a century ago, is substantially as fol- 
lows: 

"A few rods distant from where the Bellvue 
school house now stands there is, or was, a deep 
artificial depression covering several feet each way 
in extent. From this hole in the ground the Cache 
la Poudre river, one of Colorado's largest and finest 
mountain streams, derives its name. The circum- 
stances connected with the origin of the name are as 
follows : 

"In November, 1836, a large party of trappers 
and employes in the service of the American Fur 
company, while on their way from St. Louis to 
Green River, Wyoming, with a heavily loaded wag- 
on-train, camped for the night on the bank of the 
river near the locality mentioned. Antoine Janis, 
who was well known to all the early settlers of 
Northern Colorado, then a boy twelve years of age, 
was with the party, his father being captain of the 
caravan. 

"During the night a severe snow storm set in and 
continued for several days, covering the ground with 
an immense body of snow, which, for the time being, 
prevented the further progress of the caravan. Fi- 
nally, after the storm had abated and the snow had 
settled some, the order was given to lighten the 
wagons and get ready to proceed. A large, deep 
pit, like a house cellar only much deeper, was dug 
a few rods south of the camp, and all that could be 
spared from each wagon was stored away in it. The 
pit was then skillfully filled and covered over with 
a pile of brush, which was set on fire and burned, 
giving the spot the appearance of having been a 
camping ground. This was done to deceive the pry- 
ing eyes of thieving Indians. 

"The train, considerably lightened, then pursued 
its way over the mountains to its destination. Some 
of the teams returned later in the season, reopened 
the pit and loading the goods that had been safely 
cached, departed with them for Green River with- 
out the loss of a pound of freight. 

"Included in the stores buried in the pit were 
several hundred pounds of powder. From this cir- 
cumstance comes the name Cache la Poudre, a 
French phrase signifying 'where the powder was 
hidden.' " 

There have been several stories which pretended 
to give the origin of the name of the Cache la 



Poudre river, but this is believed to be the true 
one, as it was related by an eye-witness of the cach- 
ing of the powder. 

Definition of the Word "Cache" 

In Chittenden's American Fur Trade, Volume I., 
page 41, we find the following lucid definition of the 
term "Cache," which possesses a local significance 
because of the name given to the principal river 
which rises in and flows eastward through Larimer 
county. The stream derives its name from an inci- 
dent, the nature of and reason for which are so 
clearly described by the author. He says: 

"Of the many terms peculiar to the fur trade no 
one was of more common use than the 'cache.' It 
frequently happens that parties had to abandon tem- 
porarily the property they were carrying, with the 
intention of returning for it at a more convenient 
time, the property so abandoned being cached or 
concealed so as to prevent its loss or injury. The 
use of the word in this specific meaning is very old 
and, of course, came through the French, to whose 
language it belongs. The cache, as ordinarily pre- 
pared, consisted of a deep pit in the ground, in the 
construction of which the point of paramount im- 
portance was to avoid any trace of the work which 
might attract attention after it was completed. The 
size of the pit depended upon the quantity it was to 
hold and sometimes it was very spacious and con- 
tained wagons and other bulky material. The best 
site was in a dry soil, easily excavated, and in a sit- 
uation that afiforded good facilities for concealment. 
The pit was lined with sticks and dry leaves, after 
which the goods were carefully disposed therein, 
and all perishable articles, such as provisions or fur, 
were protected with the utmost care. This was 
a vital matter, for it frequently happened that val- 
uable articles were found spoiled. 

"The greatest diflficulty in the preparation of a 
cache was the concealment after completion. From 
the sharp eyes of the sons of the prairie no trace 
however minute would escape. * * * The conceal- 
ment consisted simply in removing all evidence of 
the cache — never by any sort of covering. The 
point was to leave the ground looking just as it 
did before. If in turf, the sod was scrupulously 
replaced. In other places it was usual to build a 
camp-fire over the cache and thus not only obliterate 
all evidence of the work, but divert attention as 
well. With all this care, caches were often discov- 
ered and 'raised' or 'lifted' by those who had no 
right to them. Wolves often dug them out and their 

[161] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



work would discover them to the Indians. The 
trappers themselves, as a general thing, respected the 
cache of rival parties. 

"These caches," continues the writer, "sometimes 
attained notoriety and have left their names in var- 
ious localities. Cache Valley, Utah, is an example. 
There are also numerous 'Cache Creeks' scattered 
throughout the West." 

On Monday, August 1st, 1910, "Colorado Day," 
Cache la Poudre Chapter, Daughters of the Ameri- 
can Revolution, unveiled and dedicated a large gran- 
ite tablet to mark the spot where trappers, in 1836, 
cached a quantity of powder, from which incident 
the Cache la Poudre river takes its name. The cer- 
emonies took place on the lawn of the home of D. D. 
Doty, in Pleasant valley, on whose farm the powder 
was buried 74 years ago, and were interesting, in- 
structive and impressive. Appropriate introductory 
addresses were delivered by Hon. Fred W. Stover, 
judge of the county court, himself a son of a pio- 
neer, and Mrs. Frank Wheaton of Denver, Colo- 
rado, Regent of the Daughters of the American 
Revolution. The tablet was then unveiled by the 
Misses Florence and Esther Gillette, daughters of 
Mrs. C. P. Gillette, Chaplain of the Colorado 
Chapter. The presentation address was delivered by 
Mrs. P. J. McHugh, and the address of acceptance 
on behalf of Larimer county by John J. Herring, 
county attorney. The tablet, suitably engraved, 
stands at the roadside, a few rods north of where 
the pit was dug, in Mr. Doty's field. 

Another Name for Cache la Poudre 
, River 

In Major Stephen H. Long's report of his noted 
expedition to the Rocky Mountains, made in 1820, 
we find the following reference to what is believed 
to have been the Cache la Poudre river. He says: 
"On the 3rd of July we passed the mouths of three 
large creeks heading in the mountains and entering 
the Platte from the northwest. One of these, nearly 
opposite to where we were encamped, is called 
'Pateros creek,' from a Frenchman of that name 
who is said to have been bewildered upon it, wander- 
ing about for twenty days almost without food. He 
was found by a band of Kiowas who frequented this 
part of the country, and restored to his companions, 
a party of hunters at that time camping on the 
Arkansas." 

The three large creeks mentioned by Major Long 
must have been the Cache la Poudre, the Big 
Thompson and the St. Vrain, and it is altogether 

[16::] 



probable that the one he called Pateros is now 
known . as the Cache la Poudre. How long the 
stream had been known as Pateros creek before 
Maj. Long noticed it we have no means of deter- 
mining, as we are unable to find any other reference 
to it in reports of either former or subsequent expedi- 
tions. Neither does it appear how Long learned 
that it was called Pateros creek. The present 
name of Cache la Poudre was not bestowed upon 
the stream until some fifteen or sixteen years later. 
It appears, however, that the Cache la Poudre val- 
ley had been visited by white men hunters and trap- 
pers as much as one hundred years ago, and probably 
earlier than that period. The origin of the name 
Cache la Poudre is given elsewhere in this book. 

Medicine Bow Mountains 

The name Medicine Bow Mountains, a spur of 
the Continental Divide, and which forms the west- 
ern boundary of Larimer county, is derived from 
the Indians. Tradition says that the Northern 
tribes repaired annually to these mountains for the 
purpose of procuring a variety of ash timber from 
which they made their bows. With the Indians 
anything that is excellent for the purpose for which 
it was intended is called Good Medicine ; hence 
this range of mountains came to be known as the 
place where they could get Good Medicine bows. 
Medicine Bow Mountains and Medicine Bow 
river naturally followed. 

Naming of Cameron Pass 

Cameron Pass, one of the notable depressions in 
the Medicine Bow range of mountains, was named 
in honor of Gen. R. A. Cam.eron, president of the 
Greeley Colony. Soon after locating the colony 
at Greeley, in 1870, General Cameron and Dr. 
Laws went up the Cache la Poudre river to Cham- 
ber's lake on a prospecting trip, and while in the 
mountains discovered the pass through the Medi- 
cine Bow Mountains which led into North Park, 
and afterwards named by the Union Pacific en- 
gineering department as Cameron Pass, in honor of 
General Cameron, and was entered on the map as 
such. 

Naming of the Laramie River 

The Laramie river, perhaps the largest stream 
in Larimer county, heads in the Medicine Bow 
mountains, a short distance northwest of Chamber's 
lake. It flows almost directly north for about six 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



miles and then bears northwesterly through one of 
the prettiest valleys in the state, crossing the state 
line into Wyoming nearly thirty miles northwest of 
its source. Thence it flows a northerly course and 
empties into the North Platte near Fort Laramie. 
The Laramie is fed by several important tributaries 
before it leaves Colorado, which have their sources 
in the Medicine Bow Mountains, among them being 
the West Branch, Spring Creek, Rawah, Mclntyre, 
Legarde, Grace and other creeks. The main stream 
derives its name from the Jacques Laramie, a French 
Canadian, who came into the country in the employ 
of the Northwest Fur company when that organiza- 
tion first extended its operations to the waters of 
the upper Missouri. Laramie gathered about him 
a number of reliable trappers and trapped on the 
headwaters of the North Platte. About the year 
1820 Laramie decided to trap on the Laramie river 
and its tributaries, notwithstanding the fact that it 
was well known among trappers as a dangerous 
country, for the reason that it was the battle ground 
of the Northern and Southern tribes, who were con- 
tinually at war with each other. Laram.ie's friends 
urged upon him the danger of penetrating the dis- 
puted country, but he calmed their fears by saying 
that he would go alone and throw himself upon the 
protection of the Indians, who were known to be 
friendly to him. At the next gathering at the ren- 
dezvous, Laramie, the heretofore central figure in 
the company, was absent. His friends, with fore- 
bodings of evil, organized a strong party and went 
up the Laramie river in search of a cabin which he 
informed them he would build. In two or three 
days they found the cabin and the lifeless body of 
their beloved partizan. There was every indica- 
tion that he had met death at the hands of the 
Indians. From that time on they spoke of the river 
on the banks of which Laramie had been murdered 
as Laramie's river, and later trappers in the country 
called it Laramie river. This is the origin of the 
name of Laramie river, from which comes Laramie 
Plains, Laramie Range, Laramie Peak, Fort Lar- 
amie, Laramie county, Wyoming, Laramie City 
and Little Laramie river. 

How Chambers Lake Got Its Name 

In the late fifties Robert Chambers and his son, 
Robert, came out from Iowa and built a cabin near 
the mouth of the Big Thompson canon. They 
engaged in trapping and hunting for a livlihood, 
operating on all the streams that head in the Med- 
icine Bow Mountains. In the fall of 1858 they 



established a camp on the headwaters of the Cache 
la Poudre river and set about trapping for beaver 
and hunting bear for furs, meeting with good suc- 
cess. Their ammunition running low, Robert, the 
son, was dispatched to Laporte, then quite a settle- 
ment and trading point, for a supply of powder and 
lead. During his absence the Indians attacked the 
camp at the lake and succeeded in killing and 
scalping the lone occupant, but not until after a 
desperate fight. Chambers held the redskins in 
check while his supply of bullets held out and then 
he cut the ramrod of his gun into slugs and fired 
them at his assailants. But all in vain. He was 
at last overcome and cruelly slain and his body hor- 
ribly mutilated. The Indians burned the cabin and, 
taking the furs that had been gathered, fled into 
North Park. When the son returned with a supply 
of ammunition he found his father cold in death 
and the camp destroyed. He was so affected by the 
scene which met his eyes that he vowed vengeance 
on the Indians and determined to kill on sight 
every redskin that crossed his path — a vow that he 
kept and made good. He abandoned the mountains 
and returned to his father's lonely cabin on the 
Thompson. This is substantially the story as he 
told it to former County Commissioner W. P. 
Bosworth, in 1872, who related it to the writer. 

After the Union Pacific road had been completed 
to Cheyenne, in 1867, young Chambers, while in 
Cheyenne, told one of the tie contractors of the 
road of the vast amount of tie timber to be found 
on the Cache la Poudre in the vicinity of the lake 
where his father had been killed. The contractor 
went there with a camp and tie outfit and cut and 
floated down the Laramie more than one million 
railroad ties for the Union and Denver Pacific 
railroads. The camp was established on the shore 
of the lake, which was given the name of Chambers 
in honor of the old trapper who lost his life in a 
struggle with the savages. Since then the locality 
has been known as Chambers lake, one of the most 
picturesque mountain landmarks in Northern Colo- 
rado. 

Lone Pine Creek 

A beautiful trout stream derives its name from 
a symmetrically formed, low branched pine tree 
which stood solitary and alon'e near the banks of 
of the stream on the Emerson ranch, three miles 
west of Livermore postoffice. For years this tree 
was a familiar landmark to travelers going to and 
from the mountains. The Lone Pine is a tributary 
of the North fork of the Cache la Poudre river. 



[163] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



and heads high up among the timber and snows of 
Greenridge, a range of high hills which divide the 
waters of the Laramie river from those of the east- 
ern slope. In places the stream flows through deep, 
dark canons and then widens out into beautiful 
valleys, in which are now a number of fine homes 
and stock ranches. 

Hook & Moore Canon 

Hook & Moore canon is really a glade or narrow 
valley lying between two rows of hogbacks, and ex- 
tends from a point a little north of Pleasant valley 
to Owl canon, a distance of about six miles. The 
county road from Fort Collins to Livermore and 
the mountain country beyond and also to the Lara- 
mie Plains follow this glade to Owl canon. It 
was named for H. M. Hook and James Moore, two 
stockmen who pastured cattle In the glade in 1864- 
65. In 1867 Mr. Hook moved his cattle to Wyo- 
ming and was the first mayor of Cheyenne. In com- 
pany with a man named French, he conducted a 
store at Laporte in 1864-65. He was drowned in 
Green River in 1878. Soon after that his widow, 
who was a sister of Mrs. H. C. Peterson, and her 
children came to Fort Collins and resided here sev- 
eral years. Her daughter. Miss Nettie Hook, mar- 
ried F. E. Gifford, a hardware merchant, in 1884. 

The old Cherokee Trail, over which the Over- 
land stage and emigrants passed in the early days, 
followed a glade southwest of and parallel with 
Hook & Moore glade, but in 1879 the road was 



changed to Hook & Moore glade because it afforded 
better and easier grades. 

Pingree Hill 

The long, steep hill leading from the bottom of 
the canon of the Cache la Poudre river to the up- 
lands, up and down which all travel to and from 
Chambers lake and Cameron Pass must climb or 
descend, was named in honor of George W. Pin- 
gree, a hunter and trapper, who built a cabin on 
the river bank near where the Rustic hotel now 
stands, and spent his winters in the late 60's trap- 
ping beaver and hunting wild game. He cut a trail 
through the timber down the gulch from the summit 
to the river, a distance of three miles, and over it 
packed his supplies, furs and game. The descent 
from the summit to the river is 1,200 feet. Along 
late in the 60's, when the Union Pacific and Denver 
Pacific railroads were being built, tie contractors 
and lumbermen widened the trail and graded a 
road down the hill so that teams loaded with camp 
supplies could go over it, giving the name Pingree 
to the hill, by which name it has since been known. 

Pingree, called "Ping" by the Indians, came West 
in 1846 and followed trapping and hunting. He 
was with Kit Carson for many years and during 
the Indian troubles of 1864-65 was with Col. John 
M. Chivington's command, participating in the 
battle of Sand Creek In November, 1864. The old 
scout and trapper is still living at Fort Lupton, well 
past four score years of age. 



[164] 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER 



COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



Settlements, Towns and Cities 



Laporte 

1A (behold) Porte (gate), "behold the gate," 
is properly named. It is the gateway to 
J all that mountainous region lying north 
of the South Platte river and extending 
from the Plains to the Continental Divide, em- 
bracing thousands of square miles of territory, 
and is counted as being among the localities 
where the very first white settlements were made 
in Colorado, and is also a point about which 
centers a great deal of historical interest. Indeed, 
it is claimed that Antoine Janis, who staked out a 
claim a little west of Laporte in 1844, and occupied 
it as a home until 1878, was the first permanent 
white settler in Colorado north of the Arkansas 
river. Trapping camps on the streams issuing from 
the eastern slope of the mountains had been estab- 
lished and occupied by white men during the trap- 
ping season thirty years before that time, but they 
were by no means permanent settlements. The occu- 
pants of these camps only lived in them but a few 
months during the year at best, and when trapping 
ceased to be profitable the camps were deserted and 
abandoned for all time. Away back in the early 
days, long before the gold hunters made their grand 
rush upon Colorado, a band of intrepid Canadian 
French mountaineers, hunters and trappers made 
Laporte headquarters for their fur catching and 
trading operations. They were here in 1847, 
when the Mormons, with their long trains, drawn 
by weary, footsore beasts, freighted with travel- 
stained, yet hopeful men, women and children, 
passed through on their way to a new home in the 
deepest recesses of the Rocky Mountain region, 
where they sought freedom to worship God in their 
own peculiar manner ; they were here when the gold 
hunters came in 1858, and some of them and their 
half-breed descendants remained until years after 
Colorado was admitted into the Union as a sover- 
eign state. Their neighbors were the Cheyenne 
and Arapahoe Indians, with whom they intermar- 
ried and with whom they maintained the utmost 
friendly and business relations. From 1858 to 1860 
the community increased in numbers and in the lat- 
ter year a town company was organized, known as 
the Colona Town company, whose object was to 



build a city on the banks of the Cache la Poudre at 
the entrance to the mountain region. This com- 
pany was officered the first year by Enoch W. Ray- 
mond, president, and Arch P. Williams, secretary. 
The writer has in his possession stock certificate No. 
3, issued by that company, which reads as follows : 

"Whole No. of Share, 50 Share No. 7 Certificate 

"No. 3— Colona Town Company 

"This is to certify that Chas. H. Blake is the owner of 
one-tenth of one original share in the Town of Colona, 

which entitles him to lots, described as 

follows Subject to the by-laws 

and assessments of the company. 

"No transfer recognized unless . endorsed and recorded 
in the books of the Company by the Secretary. 

"Colona, Feb. 10, 1860. 

"Enoch W. Raymond, President. 
"Arch P. Williams, Secretary." 

The town grew rapidly, between fifty and sixty 
log dwellings being erected during that year, and 
it was the most important point for business north 
of Denver. The first cabin built in the new town 
was erected by the late John B. Provost. In 1862 
Laporte was made headquarters of the Mountain 
division of the Overland Stage company, and for 
a time it flourished like a green bay tree. In 1861 
it was named the county seat of Larimer county 
in the act passed by the first Territorial Legislature, 
setting off and creating the counties of the terri- 
tory, and it aspired to be the capitol of the terri- 
tory, but that honor went to Colorado City for the 
time being. Gardening and making hay, prospect- 
ing for silver and gold, and hunting were the prin- 
cipal occupations of the inhabitants. General farm- 
ing had not then been entered upon. Game was 
plentiful and easily obtained and, though flour some- 
times commanded $100 a sack, the settlers seldom 
suffered for food. 

The first bridge over the Cache la Poudre river 
was a toll bridge built by private parties. It stood 
near where the present iron bridge now stands, and 
during the rush to California and Oregon as many 
as 2,000 wagons crossed on it in a single day. The 
toll charged ranged from $3 to $8. This bridge 
was carried away by the flood of 1864, and John B. 
Provost rigged up a ferry, which was used during 
high water for several years and until the county 
built a new bridge. In the early days the town was 

[165] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



a bustling business and supply recruiting point for 
emigrants. There v/ere four saloons, a brewery, a 
butcher shop, a shoe shop, two blacksmith shops, a 
store and hotel. The first store was opened and 
conducted by Jerry Kershaw, who afterwards sold 
it to Chamberlin & Glenn. Preston Taft, still a 
resident of Laporte, and the late A. H. Patterson 
clerked in the store. The sales during the busy sea- 
son often amounted to $1,000 per day. Everything 
kept in a store sold for what we would now call a 
big price. Sugar, 50 cents a 
pound ; oysters and sardines, from 
$1 to $1.50 per can; corn, 18 cents 
and 20 cents per pound by the 
sack; butter, from $1 to $1.50 per 
pound, and everything else in pro- 
portion. During the winter of 
1864-65 hay brought $65 per ton. 
The brewery was owned by a Ger- 
man named Melanger. The build- 
ing was afterwards moved to 
Pleasant valley and was occupied 
for years by James Shipp and fam- 
ily as a residence. The Western 
Union Telegraph opened an office 
in 1866, and the operator was a 
Mr. Mountuma. 

The late William S. Taylor 
kept a stage station at Laporte for 
several years and had the pleasure 
of entertaining at his board several 
distinguished men, including Gen- 
eral Grant, Vice-President Schuyler Colfax and 
Samuel Bowles, editor of the Springfield, Massa- 
chusetts, Republican. Horace Greeley stopped in 
Laporte over night in June, 1859. The house 
occupied by Mr. Taylor was moved to his farm, a 
short distance east of Laporte, and is now owned by 
Mr. M. L. Landes. The stage fare from Laporte 
to Denver was $20. 

In 1864 the county bought a small log building 
of Henry Arrison at a cost of $150, which was used 
as a court house and county offices. That build- 
ing now forms a part of the Preston Taft resi- 
dence. W. D. W. and Louis Taft and H. W. 
Chamberlin conducted a dairy in what is now Pres- 
ton Taft's barn. Judge James B. Belford, who 
was afterwards twice a member of congress from 
Colorado, held court in Laporte in 1866-7. Ed. 
A. Smith, now of Loveland, then a young man, was 
the Overland Stage company's blacksmith, stationed 
at Laporte. He shod the horses and repaired the 
coaches for the company until 1868, when the stage 

[166] 



line was discontinued. Dr. T. M. Smith was the 
first physician to locate here, moving to Camp Col- 
lins in 1864 to serve as assistant surgeon for the 
soldiers. He went to Virginia in the early 80's and 
died there a few years ago at an advanced age. The 
first school house was built on the bluff south of 
the river, but was afterwards moved to near where 
Preston Taft now lives. 

In 1863 a company of the 13th Kansas regiment 
volunteer infantry was stationed at Laporte for a 




OLD LAPORTE BREWERY. BUILT IN 1862 

short time, acting as escort for the Overland stage. 
This detachment of troops was succeeded by Com- 
pany B of the First Colorado, and this in turn by a 
battalion of the 11th Ohio volunteer cavalry, com- 
manded by Captain Evans. The troops were camped 
on what is now known as the Jos. Ham.merly place, 
just west of Laporte. During the flood of 1864 
the camp ground was covered with water and the 
soldiers had to suddenly flee to higher ground for 
safety. Many of their tents and much other gov- 
ernment property were swept away by the angry 
waters and only a small portion of it was ever re- 
covered. In August, 1864, Col. W. O. Collins, 
commanding the 11th Ohio cavalry, came down 
from Fort Laramie on an inspection trip, and while 
here decided to move the camp to the site of the 
present City of Fort Collins, as is elsewhere noted. 
In October of that year the camp was moved to 
the new site and given the name of Camp Collins, 
in honor of Colonel Collins. 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Preston A. Taft came to Laporte in 1865 and 
still .resides there, being the only one remaining of 
the early settlers, all the others having moved away 
or died. Of those who settled in Laporte in 1858 
it is not believed there Is a single one living. 

Laporte Presbyterian Church 

This church was organized ' in 1901 and was 
served for several years by Rev. H. S. McCutcheon. 
A church building was erected that year at a cost 



from the San Luis valley with his Indian wife, 
Marie, whom he called "John," five children, ser- 
vants, cattle and horses, and settled in the Big 
Thompson valley about three miles west of the 
present thriving City of Loveland. Modena was 
contemporary with Kit Carson, Jim Baker and 
other noted frontier scouts, hunters and trappers, 
and had scouted, hunted and trapped with them all 
over this western country. On one of his scouting 
trips up into what is now Wyoming and Montana 
in the early 50's, Modena camped one night in the 







'™!«S«fT!*P!"i 



^Awi-Cx-^, 






^^ ^^^L^i^,^ 



OLD STAGE STATION AT NAMAQUA. BUILT IN 1858 BY MARIANA MODENO 



of $3,600 and the organization has since received 
a large accession of members. Rev. J. N. Young 
is the present pastor. All the departments of the 
church are well organized and doing efficient work. 



Namaqua 

In the spring or early summer of 1858, more than 
sixty-two years ago, Mariana Modena, a man about 
fifty years of age, of Spanish-Indian descent, came 



Big Thompson valley and was so charmed with the 
valley and its surroundings that he resolved to some- 
time make it his home. He wanted to get off by 
himself, so that he could raise cattle and horses and 
not be disturbed by neighbors. At the time he 
arrived at the site of his new home, his family con- 
sisted of a wife, one step-son and four children of 
his own. His wife was a Flathead squaw, whom 
he purchased in the San Luis valley in 1848 of a 
French trapper named Papa, paying for her in 



[167] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



horses, taking a bill of sale as evidence of the trans- 
action. Modena and the squaw were subsequently 
married by a Catholic priest. A child by Papa, 
born shortly after the marriage of Modena to Marie, 
was named Louis Papa, who now lives in Big 
Thompson canon, some fifteen miles west of Love- 
land. Four children were born to Modena and 
Marie, two of them dying in their infancy, the other 
two, Antonio and Lena, reaching maturity. Mo- 
dena was devoted to his children and to his step- 
son, although Antonio, by his wild, wayward life, 
caused him a great deal of trouble. He gave his 
children as good an education as could be obtained 
in the Catholic schools in Denver. Antonio grew 
to be handsome, but a wild, and reckless man. At 
last his conduct became so bad that he was compelled 
to leave home, and it is reported that he was killed 
in a drunken row in New Mexico in 1888. Lena 
grew to a maiden of symmetrical figure, handsome, 
regular features, large, lustrous eyes and the Spanish 
type of litheness. She was the apple of her father's 
eye and he almost worshipped her. He provided her 
with the finest saddle horses he could find, fancy 
saddles and bridles and a riding blanket fringed 
with tiny silver bells, the handiwork of the Navajos 
of New Mexico, and she could ride with all the ease 
and grace of a princess. She died in 1872 and was 
buried near her father's cabin beside the two chil- 
dren who died in their infancy, in a graveyard in- 
closed by an adobe wall, with a Catholic emblem 
surmounting the gateway. The wife, Marie, died 
in 1874 and Modena followed her in June, 1878. 
Both were buried in the little graveyard beside their 
children. 

Modena was the first white man to permanently 
locate in the Big Thompson valley. When he first 
came he built a log cabin for his family to live in 
and afterwards erected a larger stone building which 
he called his fort. An engraving of the group of 
buildings erected by him appears elsewhere in this 
volume. Modena named his home Namaqua. The 
writer has searched high and low for the origin 
and signification of the word "Namaqua" without 
success. The word is evidently a Pawnee proper 
noun, as Pawnee proper nouns generally end in 
"qua," but what it means translated into English 
no one of whom we have inquired seems to know. 
Namaqua was on the emigrant trail from the Arkan- 
sas to California and Oregon, and in 1 862 it became 
a station on the Overland stage line. A postoffice, 
one of the first established in the county, was opened 
here with Hiram Tadder as postmaster. Modena or 
Mariana, as he was best known, kept a store which 

[168] 



contained supplies for emigrants, including frontier 
whiskey. Salt meats and flour were very dear, flour 
often selling as high as $30 per hundred pounds. 
They were freighted from the Missouri with ox 
teams, and sometimes the supply got very low before 
a loaded freight train arrived from the East. Dur- 
ing these times flour often soared to $100 per hun- 
dred pounds. 

Indians were troublesome in the early days, mak- 
ing frequent attacks upon the emigrants, and as 
affording a measure of protection from raids by the 
savages, several trains traveled together. Mariana 
built a bridge over the Big Thompson with a toll 
gate at each end and before a wagon was allowed 
to cross in either direction the driver must pay a 
dollar. There was a good ford just below the 
bridge, but there were times when the river was not 
fordable on account of high water, and it was dur- 
ing these times that Mariana reaped a rich harvest 
in tolls. 

Game was plentiful when Mariana first settled at 
Namaqua — deer, grouse and bear in the mountains, 
antelope on the plains and fish in the streams. Buf- 
faloes were in great number on the Plains in the 
eastern part of Colorado, but hunting them was 
dangerous on account of marauding bands of In- 
dians, who stampeded the hunters' horses and often 
killed and scalped the hunters themselves. But little 
is known of the early history of Mariana and that 
little indefinite and unreliable, but there is no doubt 
but that he lead an adventurous and exciting life 
before he came to the Big Thompson. Namaqua 
postoffice was discontinued several years ago. 



Big Thompson Valley 

Rising mid the snow-capped peaks of the Conti- 
nental Divide, flowing down through beautiful Estes 
Park and through deep, dark gorges and canons, 
past butting crags and meadows bespangled with 
wild flowers in their season, until it leaps onto the 
Plains, we find the Big Thompson, one of the pret- 
tiest streams in Colorado. Its valley, though not 
as wide as that of the Cache la Poudre, is of re- 
markable fertility and is wholly divided into farms, 
whose productiveness is the wonder of the Conti- 
nent, and which bear unmistakable evidence of 
industry and prosperity, with their substantial and 
attractive farm homes, outbuildings, sleek live stock 
and the latest improved farm machinery. 

From the canon to the Weld county line, a dis- 
tance of about thirteen miles, there is hardly a quar- 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



ter section of waste land, all, or nearly all of it be- , 
ing under a high state of cultivation and yearly pro- 
ducing enormous crops of hay, grain, fruit, sugar ! 
beets, potatoes and other vegetables. ' 

But it w^as not always thus. Fifty years ago this) 
beautiful valley, which now charms the vision of 
the traveler, was an uninhabited wilderness, save 
as it became the temporary camping ground of mi- 
gratory savages, or the home of the buffalo, the 
stately elk, the timid deer and the fleet-footed ante- 
lope. Though thousands of armed soldiers — Span- 
ish and American troops — explorers, trappers and 
emigrants had crossed the valley, slaked their thirst 
and laved their weary limbs in the waters of the 
limpid Big Thompson in their movements from 
south to north and north to south, not a white man 
had then attempted to build himself a permanent 
home within the boundaries of this beautiful, sun- 
kissed valley, save one. A lonely grave on the 
banks of the stream, three miles west of Loveland, 
bears witness that one adventurous young man had 
found a final resting place. A headstone at this 
grave still bears the inscription : 

"To the Mem.ory of 
H. L. W. PETERSON 

Aged 24 Years 

Was Killed by Lightning 

June 13, 1854." 

Nothing is known of his history or of the com- 
panions who accompanied him on his fatal trip, 
further than that gained from the inscription. He 
was probably an emigrant who left his eastern home, 
lured by the greed for gold to carve out a fortune 
among the golden sands of California. The first 
permanent human habitation erected in the Valley 
of the Big Thompson was built in 1858 by Mariana 
Modena, a three-quarter Castilian, whose boast it 
was in after years that he was the first "white man" 
to settle on the Big Thompson. He took up a 
squatter's claim to a tract of land situated three 
miles up the stream from the present City of Love- 
land. Here he built his cabin, which four years 
later became a stage station on the Overland route 
from the Missouri river to California, and here, 
twenty years later, he was gathered to his P'athers. 
Modena was merchant, saloon keeper and host, 
and his place became noted throughout the West for 
hospitality and good cheer. Modena was a squaw 
man, that is, his wife was an Indian whom Modena 
bought of a Frenchman. She had a son, Louis 
Papa, who is still living in a small park situated 



several miles up the canon above his step-father's 
old home. The log house and outbuildings erected 
by Modena are still standing as a monument to the 
memory of one of the most noted frontier characters 
of his day. 

In 1859 William McGaa, better known in the 
pioneer days as "Jack Jones," who was also a squaw 
man, built a cabin on the land later owned by Ab- 
raham Rist, and became Modena's neighbor. He 
was the first real white man to settle in the Big 
Thompson valley, and his son, William, now of 
Pine Ridge, South Dakota, was the first child born 
in Denver. 

In 1860 the settlement in the valley was greatly 
augmented by the arrival of a number of other set- 
tlers who filed on claims and built homes for them- 
selves and families. Among these were John Hahn, 

Thomas H. Johnson, • Ashford, Ed. 

Comb, Sherry, J. N. Hollowell, W B. 

Osborn, James Boutwell, W. A. Bean, Jed Done- 
fetter, Henry Dose, Samuel HafEner, Joseph Mark- 
ley, Frank Prager, Foster brothers, John Miller, 
H. B. Chubbuck, W. C. Stover, J. J. Ryan, Adam 
Dick, Doc Allen and Ed Clark, and from that 
time on the population of the valley steadily in- 
creased until now it is one of the most densely pop- 
ulated valleys in Colorado. 

There were many among the pioneer settlers in 
the Big Thompson, as there were also in the Cache 
la Poudre valley, who had much to do with shap- 
ing the policies and directing the destiny of Larimer 
county, including John Hahn, Thos. H. Johnson, 
William B. Osborn, W. A. Bean, H. B. Chub- 
buck and Lucas Brandt, of the Big Thompson; J. 
M. Sherwood, F. W. Sherwood, A. F. Howes, 
Abner Loomis, James B. Arthur, John G. Coy, 
Peter Anderson, Joseph Mason, N. C. Alford, Rev- 
ilo Loveland, W. C. Stover and Harris Stratton, of 
the Cache la Poudre valley. These were all strong 
men, intellectually and physically, men of unblem- 
ished character, strict integrity and the courage of 
their convictions. They possessed the confidence 
and good will of their neighbors and all of them 
have since served the county in positions of honor 
and trust with fidelity and faithfulness. They 
were never found wanting in any crisis or tim.e of 
stress. They were a noble band of men, made up 
of the best blood and brawn t)f the nation — clear- 
brained, firm-willed and strong of heart. No marble 
shaft is needed to commemorate their virtues, for 
they are enshrined in the hearts of all who helped 
to subdue the wilderness and transform it into law- 
abiding and God-fearing communities. Some of 

[169] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



these have helped to make the laws and frame the 
institutions of Colorado; others of those mentioned 
have been intrusted with authority to administer 
and execute the laws of the state. All were com- 
monwealth builders. No public scandals arising 
from malfeasance in office or failure to perfom a 
duty has ever attached to any of them. They were 
not grafters; they were patriots. 

.The first ditch built to carry water to bluff lands 
was taken out of the Big Thompson in 1867 and was 



place, which was called Namaqua, where the Over- 
land stage changed horses and where there was a 
store, postofKce, blacksmith shop and other public 
conveniences. Later a trading point and business 
center grew up at Old St. Louis, one mile east of 
the present City of Loveland, where a flour mill was 
built in 1867. 

In 1864 the Overland stage station was changed 
from Mariana's place, or Namaqua, to John E. 
Washburn's home, three miles lower down the 




RAPIDS, BIG THOMPSON CANON 
Pho'io by F. p. Clatwokthy 



known as the "Chubbuck" ditch. The scheme at 
the time was called a foolhardy one and the pro- 
prietors found few to encourage them in their enter- 
prise, but they persisted and proved the faith that 
was in them. The ditch demonstrated that the bluff 
lands were the very best for grain growing and 
general agriculture and the result was that other 
and larger ditches were soon after constructed to 
carry water to all the lands on both sides of the 
stream for many miles in each direction. 

For several years the business center of the Big 
Thompson valley in the early days was at Mariana's 

[170] 



creek, where a postoffice was established called Big 
Thompson, with Mr. Washburn as postmaster. 

In the fall of 1877 the Colorado Central Rail- 
road company completed its line of road from Gol- 
den to Cheyenne. The road crosses the Big Thomp- 
son about a mile west of Old St. Louis, and a sta- 
tion was established on the bluff lands north of 
the stream. Here, in September of that year, a 
townsite was laid out and platted in a wheat field 
on a farm owned by the late David Barnes. It was 
given the name of Loveland, in honor of Hon. W. 
A. H. Loveland, president of the railroad company. 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER 



COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



which name the town, now a city of between 4,000 
and 5,000 people, still bears. The town is beauti- 
fully located and occupies a position that commands 
a fine view of the valley up and down the stream 
and the mountains to the west. Many of the build- 
ings erected at Old St. Louis were moved to the 
new town, and before winter set in Loveland occu- 
pied a commanding position on the rriap, with its 
business houses, offices, shops and other public con- 
veniences needed for a thrifty and growing com- 
munity. The name of the postoffice was changed 
from Big Thompson to Loveland, trees were planted 
along both sides of the streets, streets graded and 
the whole town began to take on a healthy, pros- 
perous growth. At this time it numbers among 
its more important manufacturing enterprises a 
1,200 ton beet sugar factory, built in 1901, which 
turns out an average of 40,000,000 -pounds of gran- 
ulated sugar annually ; fruit and vegetable canning 
factories, flouring mill and grain elevator. It is 
also the junction point of the Colorado & Southern 
(formerly the Colorado Central) and the Great 
Western railroads, and is one of the most important 
shipping points in the state. 

The principal irrigating systems of the Big 
Thompson valley are the Handy, the Home Supply, 
the Louden and the Greeley and Loveland canals, 
and these furnish water for domestic uses and manu- 
facturing purposes in addition to a supply for irri- 
gating all the land lying between, the Little Thomp- 
son creek on the south and the divide between 
the Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson on the 
north, embracing an area of about 150 square miles. 
In 1880 Loveland had a population of 600 souls. 

After diligent search through all the authorities 
at command and consulting many of the pioneers, 
we have been unable to trace the origin of the names 
given the Big and Little Thompson streams. The 
books contain no mention of the origin and no one 
seems to know how, why, nor when the name was 
bestowed upon these streams. It is probable, how- 
ever, that they were named by David Thompson, 
an English engineer and astronomer in the employ 
of the Northwest Fur company, who, in 1810, 
traversed and explored the country from the head- 
waters of the Missouri river to the! headwaters of 
the Arkansas in search of trapping grounds in the 
interest of the company he represented. In 1811 
he continued his explorations, and on July 15 th 
arrived at Astoria, Oregon, and was the first white 
man to explore the Colum.bia river above the point 
where it was reached by Lewis and Clark in 1806. 
Thompson's name appears in the "History of the 



Fur Trade of the Far West," by Chittenden, and 
he is the only Thompson mentioned in the work as 
an explorer. The streams were known as the 
1 hompson creeks before Fremont crossed the Plains 
in 1843 on his second expedition, as he mentions 
them in his report to the War department. It is, 
therefore, fair and reasonable to assume that they 
were named in honor of the English scientist, David 
Thompson. 

Trappers' camps were established by the North- 
west Fur company, later known as the Hudson Bay 
company, on all the streams of Northern Colorado 
during the second decade of the nineteenth century, 
and it is quite possible that the camps on these two 
streams were known and designated as the Big and 
Little Thompson camps. 

If we except the coming to the Cache la Poudre 
valley in 1858 of John B. Provost and his party 
of French Canadian trappers and mountaineers, and 
the location on the Big Thompson the same year of 
Mariana Modena and his Mexican helpers, the 
settlement of these valleys in 1860 by Anglo Saxons 
was contemporaneous. The Sherwoods, the Ar- 
thurs, the Davises, G. R. Strauss, Alfred F. Howes 
and others located in the Cache la Poudre Valley, 
and W. B. Osborn, Thos. H. Johnson, John Hahn, 
J. N. Hollowell, Samuel Hafiner and Joseph Mark- 
ley and others settled in the Big Thompson valley, 
so that the beginning of civilization in Larimer 
county practically dates back to 1860. Some of 
these had crossed the Plains in the great gold rush 
of 1858-9 and '60, and being disappointed in their 
search for the precious metal, turned their attention 
to the production of hay, vegetables and beef to 
supply Denver and the mining camps in the moun- 
tains. They cam.e north from Denver and found 
locations suitable for their purposes in the valleys 
named and made settlements. Most of them were 
single men, young in years, strong of heart, sturdy of 
frame and ambitious. Nearly all of the few^ who had 
families had left them in their eastern homes to fol- 
low on later when the husbands and fathers had built 
and established homes for them. A few, very few, 
brought their wives and children to share the dan- 
gers, hardships and privations on the frontier with 
them. 

That year nearly all of the land along the margin 
of the streams, from the mouth of Buckhorn creek 
on the Big Thompson to what is now the Weld 
county line, and from Laporte on the Cache la 
Poudre to the same line, was taken up for hay 
farms. The luxuriant grasses that were found 
growing on the bottom lands made excellent hay. 



[i7r] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



a commodity that was in great demand in the min- 
ing camps, often bringing from $100 to $150 per 
ton. The hay was hauled to Central City and 
Black Hawk by oxen and it required about ten days 
to make the round, trip. The road was long and 
for a part of the way the hills were steep and rough. 
A ton or ton and a half of hay made a big load for 
four yoke of oxen. Usually two or three men would 
make the trip together, so they could help each other 
in case of a breakdown or other trouble. On their 
return they brought home from Denver such sup- 
plies, provisions, clothing, etc., as were needed to 
last until another trip could be made, and would 
also execute errands for their neighbors. The re- 
turn of the hay peddlers was always a welcome 
event, and those interested gathered at the cabins 
of the home-comers to get the news from the out- 
side world and to retail the gossip of the community 
in exchange. The early day settlers in the two val- 
leys had practically the same experiences and labored 
under the same adverse conditions for the first few 
years of their frontier life. 

Of the settlers who came to the Big Thompson 
in 1860, but few remain. Some of them thought 
a tract of land several miles in extent was too small 
for a white man and when their holdings began to 
be restricted by newcomers, they moved on. The 
ranches were then located by the claimant stepping 
off a certain number of paces along the stream and 
then drawing an imaginary line from bluff to bluff 
at each end of the measured spaces, and calling his 
all the land thus enclosed. With the advent of the 
"Claim Club" squatters' claims were restricted 
to 160 acres. After the lands had been surveyed in 
1864, locators made homestead filings and most of 
them subsequently proved up and secured title from 
the government • to their individual tracts. When 
the government survey was made some of the 
claims were found to be short, while others con- 
tained more acres than they were entitled to, one in 
particular having enclosed 320 acres for a quarter 
section. 

All the bottom land was mowed or cultivated 
that year and the succeeding few years, that portion 
lying nearest the stream being used for raising 
vegetables, potatoes principally. Irrigation was not 
resorted to, onh' the grass that matured from rain- 
fall being cut and cured for hay. This was cut 
with hand scythes and raked by hand. Mowers 
and horse rakes were unknown on the Plains in 
those days. The raising of grain was not at- 
tempted, the settlers depending on Denver for flour 
and other provisions. There were often times 

[172] 



when bread was not to be had for days and when 
antelope meat was the main stay of life. Flour 
was hauled across the Plains from the Missouri 
river, a distance of 600 miles, with ox teams, and 
this staple at times of scarcity in Denver com- 
manded fabulous prices. Sometimes it could not 
be obtained at all. Forty dollars a sack was the 
usual price for flour and on occasions as high as 
$100 per sack was paid for it. However, the 
pioneers made the best of the situation and en- 
joyed themselves with their dances and public 
gatherings. There was more of a community of 
interest in those days than exists now, and if one 
had a supply of provisions and his neighbor had 
none, a division was promptly made so that the 
neighbor should not go hungry. As fast as means 
permitted many of the first settlers began to buy 
cows and to accumulate herds of cattle. There 
was a wide extent of the finest kind of pasturage 
tor stoci; as all the bluff lands were open and un- 
occupied and cattle and horses thrived and grew 
fat on their rich, nutritious grasses. 

In 1862, after the route of the Overland stage 
had been changed from the North Platte to the 
South Platte and the stages began making daily 
trips from Denver to the north and west, a post- 
office was established at Mariana's crossing and 
called Namaqua, and James Boutwell was the first 
postmaster. In 1864 the route of the stage was 
changed and crossed the Big Thompson at the John 
Washburn place, about a mile south of the present 
City of Loveland. 

A postoffice called the Big Thompson was 
opened at this crossing, with Mr. Washburn as 
postmaster. The stage station at Mariana's was 
opened by James Boutwell who is still living and 
is a resident of Denver. Later he sold the station 
to Ryan & Acker who conducted it until the stage 
route was changed to Washburn's crossing. In 
1861 the settlers began to construct small ditches 
through which to conduct water from the stream 
to their gardens, potato patches and hay fields. 
That was the introduction in the Big Thompson 
valley of farming by irrigation. Ordinarily good 
crops of hay could be produced on the bottom lands 
without artificial aid, but there were years when the 
rainfall was insufficient and the tonnage of hay was 
light and in 1861, was one of those years. The 
partial failure of the crop that year, due to lack of 
jnoisture, is what stimulated ditch building. The 
result of the application of water to the fields by 
artificial means was so surprising and so encourag- 
ing that the settlers formed companies and com- 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER 



COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



binations and constructed larger ditches from which 
greater areas could be watered and bigger crops 
produced. Vegetables of all kinds were in good 
demand in Denver and the mining camps and 
brought high prices, potatoes at one time com- 
manding 12 cents a pound, and settlers engaged 
largely in raising them, but not a bushel of grain 
was raised in the valley until 1865. That year 
William B. Osborn secured a half bushel each of 
seed wheat and barley and sowed the grain on his 
farm. He cut the grain with a cradle and threshed 
it with a flail. Taking part of his wheat he went 
to Douty's grist mill on South Boulder creek and 
had it made into flour. Douty's mill was a prim- 
itive affair, the burrs used having been chiseled 
out of granite found in the canon. 

Mr. Osborns success at wheat growing stimu- 
lated others to engage in it and from that time 
on wheat has been one of the staple crops of the 
valley. So much wheat was grown in 1866-7 that 
a mill became indispensible and in the fall of 1867, 
Andrew Douty moved his mill to the Big Thomp- 
son valley and sat it up at a point on the stream 
about a mile east of the present City of Loveland. 
This was the first flouring mill put in operation in 
Larimer county. Mrs. Elizabeth Stone and H. 
C. Peterson began the erection of a mill at Fort 
Collins in 1867 but did not finish and get it in 
operation until a year later. 

Douty's mill was 30x50 feet ground dimen- 
sions and three stories high. It had only one set of 
burrs and could grind but about 75 bushels of grain 
per day. The mill cost about $10,000 and proved 
^ not only a good investment, but also a great con- 
venience to the people of the county. About 
10,000 bushels of wheat were raised in the Big 
Thompson valley in 1867, and one-half of it was 
made into flour at the White Rock mill on Boulder 
creek. The Big Thompson mill was operated by 
Andrew Douty, George W. Litle and J. A. Litle, 
first one and then another until Mr. Douty's death 
in 1874. After the settlement of the estate the mill 
was sold to A. Leonard & Son, who improved 
it and successfully operated it for several years. 

The first settlers in the Big Thompson valley 
had their Indian scares in the early days when they 
gathered at some central point for mutual pro- 
tection, but it does not appear that the savages ever 
killed any white people on that stream. The' 
Indians swooped down in the valley from the moun- 
tains now and then on horse stealing expeditions 
or on begging trips, but they never killed anybody 
on their raids, except in one instance and he was 



a Mexican. This was in the summer of 1864. A 
band of Utes came down from North Park on a 
horse stealing raid and as they emerged from the 
mountains they met a Mexican who was hauling 
stone for Mariana. They surrounded him and 
filled his body with arrows. His scalp was hung 
on a Cottonwood stump and the red-skins pro- 
ceeded on down the valley scattering fear and con- 
sternation among the settlers. However, they made 
no attempts, upon the lives of any of the settlers, 
their object being to gather up and run o£E as many 
horses as they could. They secured several horses 
from Mariana and started for the hills. The story 
of their raid and what came of it, as told by Abner 
Loomis, one of the pursuers of the band and who 
helped to recover the horses, is related elsewhere in 
this book. 

At another time during the same year a band of 
Utes took Mariana's horses and fled to the hills in 
the direction of Middle Park. With a couple of 
friends Mariana pursued them, coming up with the 
band early one morning just as the Indians were 
eating breakfast. Instructing his companions to be 
careful not to kill an Indian, but to keep out of 
sight and fire at the ground, Mariana rode toward 
the camp on the dead run, yelling and shooting as 
his horse bounded toward them. The Indians were 
taken by surprise and supposing a lot of white men 
were after them, mounted their ponies and went 
tearing away at full speed and without turning 
around to look back. Mariana and his friends 
gathered up the stolen horses and few things about 
the camp and returned to their homes. This is 
believed to be the last time the Indians raided the 
Big Thompson settlement. 

As early as 1871 George W. Litle, for the pur- 
pose of solving the question whether fruit could 
be grown in the valley, planted an acre to apple 
trees. He had such good success with his experi- 
ment that others soon followed his example and 
now the farm without an orchard is an exception. 
Mr. Litle was the first man in the county to pro- 
duce apples. 

Murder of John Matson 

On November 1st, 1878, Frank Marvin, a half 
lunatic hermit who had been a county charge for 
a good many years, shot and killed John Matson, 
just as the latter was entering the Ritchie home 
about five miles west of Loveland. The tragedy 
resulted from a quarrel the two men got into a few 
days before over a mule belonging to one of Mat- 



[173] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



son's neighbors, that Marvin had taken up and 
claimed as his own. From words the two men came 
to blows and in the fight Marvin got decidedly the 
worst of it. It was then thought that the trouble 
between Marvin and Matson was over after the 
drubbing the former received, but not so. Marvin 
"nursed his wrath to keep it warm" and borrow- 
ing a Winchester, watched his chance to get even 
with. Matson, following the latter to Mr. Richie's 



Estes Park 

Estes Park, one of the most important as it is 
perhaps the most beautiful scenic center in Colo- 
rado, is situated at the foot of Long's Peak in the 
southwest corner of Larimer county. The 
Park proper ranges from one to three miles in 
width and about twelve miles in length, and em- 
braces some of the grandest and most inspiring 
mountain views to be found on the continent. 




ENTRANCE TO ESTES PARK 
Photo by F. P. Clatworthy 



house towards which the victim fled on seeing 
Marvin with a gun in his hand. Just as Matson 
was crossing the threshold in search of refuge, Mar- 
vin fired and Matson fell dead. Marvin then dis- 
appeared and was not seen or heard of again in 
Colorado until January, 1882, when he was ap- 
prehended in Denver by Sheriff James Sweeney 
who brought the murderer back to Fort Collins 
and lodged him in jail to await trial on the charge 
of murder. Marvin was convicted of lunacy and 
committed to the State Insane asylum where he 
died several years ago. 

[174] 



Nature seems to have reserved its best efforts in 
planning to beautify the earth for man's delight 
and concentrated them upon the forming of Estes 
Park. Perhaps the best description of this beauti- 
ful inter-mountainvale ever written is that con- 
tained in "Life in the Rocky Mountains", a book 
written by Miss Isabella L. Bird and published by 
G. P. Putman & Son in 1879-80. Miss Bird was 
an English lady and a thoroughly disciplined and 
observant traveler. She spent several weeks in 
Estes Park in the autumn and early winter of 1873, 
and her description of the manifold beauties of the 
Park has never been excelled. She says: 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



"Among the striking peculiarities of these moun- 
tains are hundreds of high-lying valleys, large and 
small at heights varying from 6,000 to 1 1 ,000 feet. 
The most important are North Park, held by hostile 
Indians; Middle Park, famous for hot 
springs and trout; South Park, rich in 
minerals, and San Luis Park. * « « 
But parks innumerable are scattered 
throughout the mountains, most of them 
unnamed and others nicknamed by the 
hunters and trappers who have made 
them their temporary resorts. They al- 
ways lie within the flaming foot hills, 
their exquisite stretches of flowery pas- 
tures dotted artistically with clumps of 
trees sloping down-like to bright swift 
streams full of red waiscoated trout, or 
running up in soft glades into the dark 
forest, above which the snow peaks rise 
in their infinite majesty. * * * Estes 
Park combines the beauties of all. The 
Park is most irregularly shaped, and 
contains hardly any level grass. It is 
an aggregate of lawns, slopes and glades. 
* * * The Big Thompson, a bright j 
rapid trout stream, snow-born on Long's 
Peak a few miles higher, takes all sorts 
of -magical twists, vanishing and reap- 
pearing unexpectedly, glancing among 
lawns, rushing through romantic ravines, 
everywhere making music through the 
still, long nights. Here and there the 
lawns are so smooth, the trees so artisti- 
cally grouped, a lake makes such an ar- 
tistic foreground, or a waterfall comes 
tumbling down with such an apparent 
feeling for the picturesque, that I am 
almost angry with Nature for her close 
imitation of art. But in another hun- 
dred yards. Nature glorious unapproach- 
able, inimitable is herself again, raising 
one's thoughts reverently upward to her 
Creator and owner. Grandeur and sub- 
Hmity, not softness, are the features of 
Estes Park. The glades which begin so 
softly are soon lost in the dark primeval 
forest, with their peaks of rosy granite 
and their stretches of granite blocks piled and 
poised by Nature in some mood of fury. The 
§treaxns.axe -lost in canons nearly or quite inaccess- 
ible, awful in their blackness and darkness; every 
valley ends in mystery; seven mountain ranges 
raise their frowning barriers between us and the 



Plains, and at the south end of the Park, Long's 
Peak rises to a height of 14,700 (14,276) feet, 
with his bare granite head slashed with eternal 
snows. The lowest part of the Park is 7,500 feet 




ODESSA LAKE, ESTES PARK 
Photo bv F. P. Clatworthy 

high, and though the sun is hot during the day, 
the mercury hovers near the freezing point every 
night of the summer." 

Describing her first view of Estes Park, Miss 
Bird goes into ecstacies. She says: "From the 
ridge on which this (Muggins) gulch terminated 

[175] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



at a height of 9,000 feet, we saw at last Estes Park, 
lying 1,500 feet below in the glory of the setting 
sun, an irregular basin, lighted up by the bright 
waters of the rushing Thompson, guarded by sen- 
tinel mountains of fantastic shape and monstrous 
size, with Long's Peak rising above them all in un- 
approachable grandeur, while the Snowy Range, 
with its outlying spires heavily timbered, come 
down upon the Park slashed by stupendous canons 
lying deep in purple gloom. The rushing water 
was blood-red. Long's Peak was aflame, the glory 




GEM LAKE, ESTES PARK 

of the glowing heavens was given back to earth. 
Never, nowhere, have I seen anything to equal the 
view with Estes Park. The mountains 'of the 
land which is very far off' are very near now, but 
the near is more glorious than the far and reality 
than dreamland." 

Early History 

The name of the first white man to set foot in 
Estes Park is not disclosed by the records. He may 
have been an independent trapper and hunter, or 
an employe of either the Hudson Bay company 
or of the American Fur company. Certain it is, 
that agents of these companies explored and estab- 
lished trapping camps on all the streams flowing 
out of Ihe" eastern base of the mountains, from the 
British Possessions as far south as the Arkansas 
river, as early as 1810. It is therefore highly prob- 
able that some of them penetrated the hills to the 
sources of the Big Thompson and its affluents in 
search of fur bearing animals, in which event they 
must have explored Estes Park. The records do 
show, however, that Kit Carson and a band of 
trappers spent the winter of 1840-41 in Estes Park 
gathering furs. They went in with pack animals 

[176] 



and probably followed the course of the Big 
Thompson as near as they could. From that time 
until in October, 1859, a period of nineteen years, 
Estes Park was an unknown land, so far as the 
records show. 

For the following account of the early settle- 
ment of Estes Park, I am indebted to a charming 
little book called the "Story of Estes Park", written 
by Enos A. Mills, the noted mountaineer and 
guide, and published in 1905, from which I am 
kindly permitted to copy at will, many thanks to 
the author. In this book Mr. Mills says: 

"The Park was named in honor of the first 
settler, Joel Estes, who visited it in October, 1859. 
It was named by W. N. Byers, founder of the 
Rocky Mountain News, in 1864. When Estes 
first came to the Park, he saw new lodge poles and 
other recent Indian signs, but so far as known, 
there never was an Indian in the Park since the 
white man came. In the summer of 1860, in a 
gulch about one-half mile south of Mary lake, 
Milton Estes captured a black Indian pony. 
Straggling arrow heads have been found over its 
Parks and not far from Sprague's is what is called 
the ruin of an old Indian fort. 

Mr. and Mrs. Joel Estes moved into the Park 
early in 1860 and built their cabin on Fish creek, 
about a half block north of the "ranch house". 
Except while away on a visit to Arkansas in 1863, 
the Estes made the Park their home until the 
summer of 1866. In the spring of 1861 Milton 
Estes, then twenty-one, journeyed to Fort Lupton 
and wedded Miss Mary L. Flemming, who had 
come to Colorado in 1859, at the age of seventeen. 
They moved to the Park alone and on the birth of 
Charles F. Estes, February 10, 1865, became the 
parents of the first white child born in the Park. 
Mr. and Mrs. Estes still live, and from their lips 
I heard the story of their Estes Park life. * * * 

Joel Estes, like Boone, enjoyed being far from 
neighbors, and one day while hunting, came to 
where he could look down into the Park, and being 
delighted with the view, at once moved into it 
for "hunting and prospecting." Supplies were 
packed in until 1861 when they were brought in a 
two-wheeled cart. The Estes families lived the 
simple life. Twice each year they went to the 
Denver postofKce for their mail. On these event- 
ful trips, which were made during the spring and 
fall, they took a small quantity of fish, game or 
hides to market. Reviewing her pioneer life, from 
a distance of forty years, Mrs. Milton Estes said: 
"We kept well, enjoyed the climate, had plenty of 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



fun, were monarchs of all we surveyed, had no 
taxes to pay, and were contented as long as we 
remained, but I wish I had pictures of ourselves in 
those old days; and clothes, how we must have 
looked." 

Among the campers who came in during the 
summer of 1865, were Rev. and Mrs. Richardson 
and one August day of that summer he preached in 
the Estes cabin to <-en listeners. Rev. Richardson 
was a Methodist. The next religious services were 
by United Brethren, Revs. E. J. Lamb and Ross, 
in August, 1871. In the spring of 1866 the Estes 
sold their holdings in the Park and moved away, 
and none of them have ever been back. Joel Estes 
died in New Mexico in 1875, his wife in Iowa, in 
1882. "At this date, January 1905" says Mr. 
Mills, "Mr. and Mrs. Milton Estes are alive and 
for the past few years have been dividing their 
time in their comfortable homes in Denver and El 
Paso, Texas." A few months later a Mr. Jacobs 
bought the Estes claim for $250.00, but in a short 
time it was acquired by Hank Farrar, known as 
"Buckskin". Mr. Farrar is a brother of Clinton 
and Martin Farrar of Fort Collins, and Laporte. 
Late in 1867 the Estes claim came under the con- 
trol of Griffith Evans, and in due course, lost its 
identity by becoming a part of the Lord Dunraven 
estate. Mr. Evans founded the first permanent 
settlement by remaining in the Park for nearly 
twenty years. In 1868 "Rocky Mountain Jim", 
James Nugent, who five years later, met a tragic 
death at the hand of an assassin, built a cabin in 
Muggins' gulch and that same year Israel Rowe, 
hunter and discoverer of Gem lake, established a 
home a short distance southwest of the base of 
Mount Olympus. That year Charles W. Denni- 
son, who was the unwilling victim of the first 
death in the Park, built a log house about midway 
between the cabins of Rowe and Evans, and George 
Hearst (Muggins) pastured his cattle that year in 
Muggins' gulch on the present Meadow Dale 
stock ranch. A flock of sheep was brought into the 
Park that year, but they did not remain long for 
mountain lions loved mutton too well to make the 
venture a safe and profitable one. 

Long's Peak, that grim sentinel of the Contin- 
ental Divide, which marks the southwestern corner 
of Larimer county, caught the eye of Lieutenant 
Zebulon M. Pike one day in November, 1806, 
while on his exploring expedition which resulted in 
the discovery of the Peak that bears his name. The 
first mention of Long's Peak occurs in the report of 
Major Stephen H. Long who had been sent out by 



President Madison to explore the great Plains and 
the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains. He 
came in sight of it on June 30th, 1820, as his ex- 
pedition slowly wended its way up the South Platte 
and while still far out on the Plains on July 3. 
Three days later, while his party was in camp at the 
mouth of the Cache la Poudre river the name the 
Peak now bears and will continue to bear while 
time shall last, was bestowed in honor of Major 




BEAR LAKE, ESTES PARK 

Photo by F. P. Clatworthy 

Long, the intrepid Commander of the expedition. 
Neither Major Long nor any of his party ever 
scaled the mountain that bears his name, nor did 
Lieutenant Pike ever climb Pike's Peak, but four- 
teen years later, E. James, a botanist in Major 
Long's party ascended that mountain and was the 
first man known to have reached a summit of the 
Colorado Mountains. He also measured it, giving 
it height as 11,500 feet. The Peak was named in 
his honor, a title it retained for several years and 
was then changed to Pike. 



[177] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



What is claimed to have been the first attempt to 
climb Long's Peak was made in August, 1864 by 
W. N. Byers, founder of the Rocky Mountain 
News. With three companions, Mr. Byers scaled 
Mount Meeker and went some distance through 
Keyhole on the trail now used. The attempt was 
unsuccessful. Four years later Mr. Byers led a 



have gazed out upon the wonders of the Rocky 
Mountain regions from the lofty summit of the 
noted mountain. Miss Anna E. Dickinson, the 
celebrated lecturer, was probably the first woman 
to make the ascent. She made the climb as the 
guest of Prof. E. Hayden of the United States 
Geological survey in 1871. In August, 1871, Rev. 




ESTES PARK IN WINTER 
Copyright by F. P. Clatworthy 



party of climbers to the top. On August 23, 
1868, the first ascent of Long's Peak was made. 
The persons who made it were, Major J. W. 
Powell, W. H. Powell, L. W. Replinger, Samuel 
Gorman, Ned E. Farrell, John C. Summer and 
William N. Byers. There was not the slightest 
indication that human foot had ever trod the sum- 
mit before. This party, says Mr. Mills, made 
barometric and other observations and built a stone 
cairn on the southeast corner of the summit. It 
is safe to say that since then, thousands of people 

[178] 



E. J. Lamb, the first regular guide made his first 
ascent, and in coming down, descended the "east 
precipice" a feat but once repeated and then by 
Enos A. Mills in 1903. Early in October, 1873, 
the mountain was scaled by four persons, not un- 
known to fame. They were Miss Isabella L. 
Bird, the noted English traveler, Ex.-Mayor Piatt 
Rogers, of Denver, Judge S. S. Downer, of 
Boulder, with "Rocky Mountain Jim" as guide. 
On September 23rd, 1884, Miss Carrie J. Welton, 
a wealthy young lady from Massachusetts, perished 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



at Keyhole on her way down from the summit. 
She gave out at the top of the trough, but the guide, 
Carlyle Lamb, succeeded in getting her as far 
down as Keyhole, when at her urgent request, he 
left her and went to the Long's Peak House for 
help to bring her down the mountain. He left her 
about 9 o'clock at night, making all possible haste, 
but it was almost morning before he could get back 
to her through the cold, windy night with help. 
He found her dead. . Over-exertion together with the 
cold, had cut short her life. The body was tenderly 
borne to the foot of the mountain and shipped thence 
to her former eastern home for burial. The first 
death in Estes Park appears to have been that of 
Charles D. Miller, for whom the Miller Ford was 
named, who was accidentally shot and killed by 
Charles W. Dennison. Later a climber of Mount 
Olympus accidentally shot and killed himself. He 
was buried on the south side of the Thompson, 
just below the mouth of Fall river. 

"In the autumn and early winter of 1872, Earl 
Dunraven, with his guests. Sir William Cummings 
and Earl Fitzpatrick, shot big game in the Park. 
Dunraven was so delighted with the abundance of 
game and the beauty and grandeur of the scene, that 
he determined to have Estes Park as a game pre- 
serve. His agent set to work at once to secure the 
land. Men were hired to file on claims and ulti- 
mately about 14,000 acres were supposed to have 
been secured from the government. * » * * 
Many of Dunraven's land claims were contested. 
His agent had secured much of the land by loose 
or fraudulent methods and some by bullying the 
homeseekers. R. Q. McGregor and others con- 
tested the twentyrone original claims. The con- 
testants claimed that "these twenty-one claims 
had been entered by not more than five or six men ; 
that the claimants had never lived on the land ; that 
there were neither house nor fence, nor any im- 
provement on any of the land." There are three 
"old timers," still living in the park, who insist 
that the greater portion of Dunraven's land was 
fraudulently secured. Dunraven came out with 
about 8,000 acres, but his agent claimed something 
like 15,000, and for many years controlled that 
amount. In 1895 some one investigated, and since 
that time more than thirty homesteads have been 
taken within the boundaries of the Dunraven 
ranch.'' Since then Dunraven has sold all of his 
interests in the Park. 

"In 1874, a stage line was established between 
the Park and Longmont, and the same year Mr. 
and Mrs. R. Q. McGregor located at Black canon. 



and Mrs. McGregor was appointed postmistress 
the following year. Mr. McGregor served Lari- 
mer county as county judge from 1882 to 1884, 
being elected to fill a vacancy in the office. In 1876 
the postoffice was transferred to the ranch house 
and Mrs. Griff Evans became postmistress. John 
T. Cleave became postmaster in 1877, but did not 
move the office to its present location, at the junction 
of Fall river with the Big Thompson until ten 
years later. Many came to the Park to locate and 
stay during 1875. John Jones and John Hupp 
settled at Beaver Park; Abner Sprague and his 
parents in Moraine Park; H. W. Ferguson at the 
Highlands and Rev. and Mrs. E. J. Lamb chopped 
a wagon road through the timber to the present 
location of Long's Peak Inn. Mr. and Mrs. W. E. 
James started Elkhorn Lodge in 1877. The Estes 
Park hotel was built and opened in 1877. On the 
20th of October, 1876, the first marriage was sol- 
emnized at the Ferguson cabin in the Park, the 
contracting parties being Richard M. Hubbell, 
now of Fort Collins, and Miss Anna Ferguson. 
Rev. J. F. Coffman performed the ceremony. The 
first term of a public school was held in one of the 
cottages at Elkhorn Lodge in the winter of 1881. 
Early in the eighties, Postmaster J. T. Cleave be- 
gan to keep household supplies and a few articles 
for sale and in the early nineties, C. E. Lester 
opened a store at the present village of Estes Park 
for the accommodation of tourists and summer 
visitors. The telephone line was completed to the 
Park "-in 1900, an office being opened at that time. 
The population of Estes Park increased gradually 
until 1903, when the Big Thompson canon road 
from Loveland to the Park, one of the finest scenic 
roads in the state, was completed. Since then, 
thousands of people have visited the Park each 
summer, many to spend the heated term in comfort 
and amid the most charming of surroundings with 
not a few to become permanent residents. A pretty 
village, with its fine hotels, one, the Stanley, cost- 
ing $250,000.00, its general stores, bank, shops and 
other public conveniences has been built up at the 
junction of Fall river and the Big Thompson, and 
the hillsides and small parks are dotted with neat 
cottages built to accommodate tourists and summer 
visitors. On Wind river, the Young Mens 
Christian Association of Colorado, has established 
permanent headquarters, where annual conferences 
of that organization are held. These conferences 
are attended every summer by hundreds of dele- 
gates. A fish hatchery, one of the best in Colo- 
rado is located on Fall river a few miles above the 



[179] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



village of Estes Park. A daily line of automobile 
steamers, carrying the United States mail, connect 
Loveland' the nearest point on the Colorado & 
Southern railway, with Estes Park, and make the 




YPSILON PEAK, FROM DEER MOUNTAIN DRIVE, ESTES PARK 
Photo by f. P. Clatworthy 

run between the two places in 2J hours. At the 
presidential election held in November, 1908, 173 
votes were cast in the Park for president, which is 
an indication of the growth and importance of a 
community that has practically grown up in the 
past decade. More that 4,000 visitors and tourists 

[180] 



spent from a few weeks to a few months in the 
Park during the summer of 1909, and Estes Park 
is now the summer playground for thousands of 
people. 

Ascent of Long's Peak 

In Miss Isabella L. Bird's charming 
book, "Life in the Rocky Mountains," 
I find the following graphic description 
of the ascent of Long's Peak which she 
made in September, 1873, in company 
with ex-Mayor Piatt Rogers, of Denver, 
and Judge S. S. Downer, of Boulder, 
with "Rocky Mountain Jim" as guide. 
Rogers and Downer were then young 
men, who had accompanied Miss Bird 
to Estes Park from Longmont. Since 
then not a year has passed that large 
numbers of tourists and explorers have 
ascended the Peak and drunk in the 
glories so enthusiastically portrayed by 
Miss Bird. Her story is as follows: 

"As this account of the ascent of 
Long's Peak could not be written at the 
time, I am much disinclined to write it, 
especially as no sort of description 
within my powers could enable another 
to realize the glorious sublimity, the ma- 
jestic solitude and the unspeakable 
awfulness and fascination of the scenes 
in which I spent Monday, Tuesday and 
Wednesday. 

"Long's Peak, 14,700 feet high, 
blocks up one end of Estes Park, and 
dwarfs all the surrounding mountains. 
From it on this side rise, snow-born, the 
bright St. Vrain, and the Big and Little 
Thompson. By sunlight or moonlight 
its splintered grey crest is the one object 
which, in spite of wapiti and bighorn, 
skunk and grizzly, unfailingly arrests 
the eye. From it come all storms of 
snow and wind, and the forked light- 
nings play around its head like a glory. 
It is one of the noblest of mountains, 
but in one's imagination it grows to be 
much more than a mountain. It be- 
comes invested with a personality. In its caverns 
and abysses one comes to fancy that it generates 
and chains the strong winds, to let them loose 
in its fury. The thunder becomes its voice, and 
the lightnings do it homage. Other summits 
blush under the morning kiss of the sun, and 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



turn pale the next moment; but it detains the 
first sunlight and holds it round its head for an 
hour at least, till it pleases to change from rosy red 
to deep blue; and the sunset, as if spell-bound 
lingers latest on its crest. The soft winds which 



knife in his belt, his revolver in his waistcoat 
pocket, his saddle covered with an old beaver-skin, 
from which the paws hung down; his camping 
blankets behind him, his rifle laid across the saddle 
in front of him, and his axe, canteen and other 



hardly rustle the pine needles down here are raging gear hanging to the horn, he was as awful looking 
rudely up there round its motionless summit. The a ruffian as one could see. By way of contrast he 
mark of fire is upon it ; and though it has passed rode a small Arab mare, of exquisite beauty, skittish, 
into grim repose it tells of fire and upheaval as high-spirited, gentle, but altogether too light for 
truly, though not as eloquently, as the living him; and he fretted her incessantly to make her 
volcanoes of Hawaii. Here under its 
shadow one learns how naturally Nature 
worships and the propitiation of the 
forces of Nature arose in minds which 
had no better light. 

"Long's Peak, the American Matter- 
horn, as some call it, was ascended five 
years ago for the first time. I thought 
I should like to attempt it, but up to 
Monday, when Evans left for Denver, 
cold water was thrown upon the project. 
It was too late in the season, the winds 
were likely to be strong, etc., but just be- 
fore leaving, Evans said the weather was 
looking more settled, and if I did not 
get farther than the timber line it 
would be worth going. Soon after he 
left. 'Mountain Jim, came in, and said 
he would go up as guide, and the two youths, 
Piatt Rogers and S. S. Downer, who rode here 
with me from Longmont, and I caught at the 
proposal. Mrs. Edwards at once baked bread for 
three days, steaks were cut from the steer which 
hangs up conveniently, and tea, sugar and butter 
were benevolently added. Our picnic was not to 
be luxurious or 'well-found' one, for, in order to 
avoid the expense of a pack mule, we limited our 
luggage to what our saddle horses could carry. 
Behind my saddle I carried three pair of camping 
blankets and a quilt, which reached to my shoulders. 
My own boots were so much worn that it was pain- 
ful to walk, even about the Park, in them, so Evans 
had lent me a pair of his hunting boots, which 
hung to the horn of my saddle. The horses of the 
two young men were equally loaded, for we had to 
prepare for many degrees of frost. 'Jim' was a 
shocking figure; he had on an old pair of high 
boots, with a baggy pair of old trousers made of 
deer hide, held on by an old scarf tucked into them ; 
a leather shirt, with three or four ragged unbut- 
toned waistcoats over it; an old smashed wideawake 
hat from under which his tawny, neglected ringlets 




TIMBERLINE HOUSE. LONG'S PEAK 



hung; and with his one eye, his one long spur, his 



display herself, 
Heavily loaded 
as all our horses 
were, 'Jim' start- 
ed over the half- 
mile level grass 
at a hand-gallop, 
and then throw- 
ing his mare on her haunches, pulled up along- 
side of me, and with a grace of manner which 
soon made me forget his appearance, entered 
into a conservation which lasted for more than 
three hours, in spite of the manifold checks of 
fording streams, single file, abrupt ascents and de- 
scents, and other incidents of mountain travel. 
The ride was one series of glories and surprises of 
■park' and glade, of lake and stream, of moun- 
tains on mountains, culminating in the rent pin- 
nacles of Long's Peak, which looked yet grander 
and ghastlier as we crossed an attendant mountain 
11,000 feet high. The slanting sun added fresh 
beauty every hour. There were dark pines against 
a lemon sky, grey peaks reddening and etherealiz- 
ing, gorges of deep and infinite blue, floods of 
golden glory pouring through canons of enormous 

[181] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



depth, an atmosphere of absolute purity, an occa- 
sional foreground of cotton-wood and aspen flaunt- 
ing in red and gold to intensify the blue gloom of 
the pines, the trickle and the murmur of streams 
fringed with icicles, the strange sough of gusts 
moving among the pine tops — sights and sounds not 
of the lower earth, but of the solitary, beast- 
haunted, frozen, upper altitudes. From the dry, 
buff grass of Estes Park we turned off up a trail 
on the side of a pine-hung gorge, up a steep pine- 
clothed hill, down to a small valley, rich in fine, 




FRAME OF INDIAN WIGWAM, ESTES PARK 

sun-cured hay about eighteen inches high, and en- 
closed by high mountains whose deepest hollow 
contains a lily-covered lake, fitly named 'The Lake 
of the Lilies.' Ah, how magical its beauty was, 
as it slept in silence, while there the dark pines 
were mirrored motionless in its pale gold, and 
here the great white lily cups and dark green leaves 
rested on amethyst-colored water. 

"From this we ascended into the purple gloom 
of great pine forests which clothe the skirts of the 
mountains up to a height of about 11,000 feet, and 
from their chill and solitary depths we had a 
glimpse of the golden atmosphere and rose-lit sum- 
mits, not of 'the land very far off,' but of the 
land nearer now in all its grandeur, gaining in sub- 
limity by nearness — glimses, too, through a broken 
vista of purple gorges, of the illimitable Plains 
lying idealized in the late sunlight, their baked, 
brown expanse transfigured into the likeness of a 
sunset sea rolling infinitely in waves of misty gold. 

"We rode upward through the gloom on a steep 
trail blazed through the forest, all my intellect con- 
centrated on avoiding being dragged off my horse 
by impending branches, or having the blankets 
badly torn, as those of my companions were, by 

[182] 



sharp dead limbs, between which there was hardly 
room to pass — the horses breathless, and requiring 
to stop every few yards, though their riders, ex- 
cept myself, were afoot. The gloom of the dense, 
ancient, silent forest is to me awe-inspiring. On 
such an evening it is soundless, except for the 
branches creaking in the soft wind, the frequent 
snap of decayed timber, and a murmer in the pine 
tops as of a not distant water-fall, all tending to 
produce eeriness and sadness 'hardly akin to pain.' 
There no lumberer's axe has ever rung. The trees 
die when they have attained their prime, and stand 
there, dead and bare, till the fierce mountain winds 
lay them prostrate. The pines grow smaller and 
more sparse as we ascended and the last stragglers 
wore a tortured, warring look. The timber line 
was passed, but yet a little higher a slope of moun- 
tain meadow dipped to the south-west towards a 
bright stream trickling under ice and icicles, and 
there a grove of the beautiful silver spruce marked 
our camping ground. The trees were in miniature, 
but so exquisitely arranged that one might well ask 
what artist's hand had planted them, scattering them 
here, clumping them there, and training their slim 
spires towards heaven. Hereafter, when I call up 
memories of the glorious, the view from this camp- 
ing ground will come up. Looking east gorges 
opened to the distant Plains, then fading into pur- 
ple grey. Mountains with pine-clothed skirts rose 
in ranges, or, solitary, uplifted their grey summits, 
while close behind, but nearly 3,000 feet above us, 
towered the bald white crests of Long's Peak, its 
huge precipices red with the light of a sun long 
lost to our eyes. Close to us, in the caverned side 
of the Peak, was snow that, owing to its position, is 
eternal. Soon the afterglow came on, and before It 
faded a big half-moon hung out of the heavens, 
shining through the silver blue foliage of the pines 
on the frigid background of snow, and turning the 
whole into fairyland. The 'photo' which accom- 
panies this letter is by a courageous Denver artist 
who attempted the ascent just before I arrived, 
but after camping out at the timber line for a week, 
was foiled by the perpetual storms, and was driven 
down again, leaving some very valuable apparatus 
about 3,000 feet from the summit. 

"Unsaddling and picketing the horses securely, 
making the beds of pine shoots, and dragging up logs 
for fuel, warmed us all. 'Jim' built up a great 
fire, and before long we were all sitting round it at 
supper. It didn't matter much that we had to 
drink our tea out of battered meat-tins in which 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



it was boiled, and eat strips of beef , reeking with 
pine smoke without plates or forks. 

"Treat 'Jim' as a gentleman and you'll find him 
one," as I had been told; and though his manner 
was certainly bolder and freer than that of gentle- 
men generally, no imaginary fault could be found. 
He was very agreeable as a man of culture as well 
as a child of nature; the desperado was altogether 
out of sight. He was very courteous and even kind 
to me, which was fortunate, as the young men had 
little idea of showing even ordinary civilities. That 
night I made the acquaintance of his dog 'Ring,' 
said to be the best hunting-dog in Colorado, with 
the body and legs of a collie, but a head approach- 
ing that of a mastiff, a noble face with a wistful 
human expression, and the most truthful eyes I ever 
saw in an animal. His master loves him if he loves 
anything, but in his savage moods ill-treats him. 
"Ring's" devotion never swerves, and his truthful 
eyes are rarely taken off his master's face. He is 
almost human in his intelligence, and, unless, he is 
told to do so, he never takes notice of any one but 
'Jim.' In a tone as if speaking to a human being, 
his master, pointing to me, said, 'Ring, go to that 
lady, and don't leave her again tonight.' 'Ring' 
at once came to me, looked into my face, laid his 
head on my shoulder, and then lay down beside me 
with his head on my lap, but never taking his eyes 
from 'Jim's' face. 

"The long shadows of the pines lay upon the 
frosted grass, an aurora leaped fitfully, and the 
moonlight, though intensely bright, was pale red, be- 
side the leaping flames of our pine logs and their red 
glow on our gear, ourselves, and Ring's truthful face. 
One of the young men sang a Latin student's song 
and two negro melodies; the other, 'Sweet Spirit, 
hear my prayer.' 'Jim' sang one of Moore's melo- 
dies in a singular falsetto, and all together sang 
'The Star-spangled Banner' and 'The Red, White 
and Blue.' Then 'Jim' recited a very clever poem 
of his own composition, and told some fearful 
Indian stories. A group of small silver spruces 
away from the fire was my sleeping-place. The 
artist who had been up there had so woven and 
interlaced their lower branches as to form a bower, 
affording at once shelter from the wind and a most 
agreeable privacy. It was thickly strewn with 
young pine shoots and these, when covered with a 
blanket, with an inverted saddle for a pillow, made 
a luxurious bed. The mercury at 9 p. m. was 12 
degrees below the freezing point. 'Jim,' after a last 
look at the horses, made a huge fire, and stretched 
himself out beside it, but 'Ring' lay at my back to 



keep warm. I could not sleep, but the night passed 
rapidly. I was anxious about the ascent for the 
gusts of ominous sound swept through the pines at 
intervals. Then wild animals howled, and 'Ring' 
was perturbed in spirit about them. Then it was 
strange to see the notorious desperado, a red-handed 
man, sleeping as quietly as innocence sleeps. But, 
above all, it was exciting to lie there, with no better 
shelter than a bower of pines, on a mountain 11,000 
feet high, in the very heart of the Rocky Range, 
under twelve degrees of frost, hearing sounds of 
wolves, with shivering stars looking through the 
fragrant canopy, with arrowy pines for bed-posts, 
and for a night lamp the red flames of a camp 
fire. 

"Day dawned long before the sun rose, pure and 
lemon-colored. The rest were looking after the 
horses, when one of the students came running 
up to tell me that I must come farther down the 
slope, for 'Jim' said he had never seen such a sun- 
rise. From the chill, grey peak above, from the 
everlasting snows, from the silvered pines, down 
through mountain ranges with their depths of Ty- 
rian purple, we looked to where the Plains lay 
cold, in the blue grey, like a morning against a far 
horizon. Suddenly, as a dazzling streak at first but 
enlarging rapidly into a dazzling sphere, the sun 
wheeled above the grey line, a light and glory as 
when it was first created. 'Jim' involuntary and 
reverently uncovered his head and exclaimed, 'I be- 
lieve there is a God!' I felt as if, Parsee-like, 
I must worship. The grey of the Plains changed to 
purple, the sky was all one rose-red flush, on which 
vermilion cloud-streaks rested ; the ghastly peaks 
gleamed like rubies ; the earth and heavens were 
new-created. Surely 'the Most High dwelleth not 
in temples made with hands.!' For a full hour 
those Plains simulated the ocean, down to whose 
limitless expanse of purple, cliffs, rocks and promon- 
tories swept down. 

"By seven we had finished breakfast and passed 
into the ghastlier solitudes above, I riding as far as 
what, rightly or wrongly, is called the Boulder 
field, an expanse of large and small boulders with 
snow in their crevices. It was very cold ; some 
water which we crossed was frozen hard enough 
to bear the horses. 'Jim' had advised me against 
taking any wraps, and my thin Hawaiian riding- 
dress, only fit for the tropics, was penetrated by the 
keen air. The rarified atmosphere soon began to 
oppress our breathing, and I found that Evan's 
boots were so large that I had no foothold. For- 
tunately, before the real diflSculty of the ascent 



[183] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



began, we found, under a rock, a pair of small 
over-shoes, probably left by the Hayden exploring 
expedition, which just lasted for the day. As we 
were leaping from' rock to rock, 'Jim' said, 'I was 
thinking in the night about your traveling alone 
and wondered where you carried your Derringer, 
for I could see no signs of it.' On telling him that 
I traveled unarmed he could hardly believe it, and 
adjured me to get a revolver at once. 

"On arriving at the 'Key Hole' (a literal gate of 
rock), we found ourselves absolutely on the knife- 
like ridge or backbone of Long's Peak, only a few 
feet wide, covered, with colossal boulders and frag- 
ments, and on the other side shelving in one pre- 
cipitous, snow-patched sweep of 3,000 feet to a 
picturesque hollow containing a lake of pure, green 
water. Other lakes, hidden among dense pine 
woods, were farther off, while close above us rose 
the Peak, which, for about 500 feet, is a smooth, 
gaunt, inaccessible-looking pile of granite. Passing 
through the 'Key Hole,' we looked along the nearly 
inaccessible side of the Peak, composed of boulders 
and debris of all shapes and sizes, through which 
appeared broad, smooth ribs of reddish-colored gran- 
ite, looking as if they upheld the towering rock-mass 
above. I usually dislike bird's-eye and panoramic 
views, but, though from a mountain, this was not 
one. Serrated ridges, not much lower than that 
on which we stood, rose, one beyond another, far 
as that pure atmosphere could carry the vision, 
broken, into awful chasms deep with ice and snow, 
rising into pinnacles piercing the heavenly blue 
with their cold, barren grey, on, on for ever, till the 
most distant range upbore unsullied snow alone. 
There were fair lakes mirroring the dark pine 
woods, canons dark and blue-black with unbroken 
expanses of pines, snow-slashed pinnacles, wintry 
heights frowning upon lovely parks, watered and 
wooded, lying in the lap of summer; North Park 
floating off into the blue distance. Middle Park, 
closed till another season, the sunny slopes of Estes 
Park, and winding down among the mountains the 
snowy ridge of the Divide, whose bright waters 
seek both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. There, 
far below, links of diamonds showed where the 
Grand River takes its rise to seek the mysterious 
Colorado, with its still unsolved enigma, and lose 
itself in the waters of the Pacific; and nearer the 
snow-born Thompson bursts forth from the ice 
to begin its journey to the Gulf of Mexico. Na- 
ture, rioting in her grandest mood, exclaimed with 
voices of grandeur, solitude, sublimity, beauty and 
infinity, 'Lord, what is man, that Thou art mindful 

[184] . 



of him; or the son of man, that Thou visitest him?' 
Never-to-be-forgotten glories they were, burnt in 
upon my memory by six succeeding hours of terror. 
You know I have no head and no ankles, and never 
ought to dream of mountaineering, and had I known 
that the ascent was a real mountaineering feat, I 
should not have felt the slightest ambition to per- 
form it. As it is, I am only humiliated by my suc- 
cess, for 'Jim' dragged me up, like a bale of goods, 
by sheer force of muscle. At the 'Key Hole' the 
real business of the ascent began. One thousand 
feet of solid rock towered above us, four thousand 
feet of broken rock shelved precipitously below; 
smooth granite ribs, with barely foothold, stood 
out here and there; melted snow refrozen several 
times presented a more serious obstacle; many of 
the rocks were loose and tumbled down when 
touched. To me it was a time of extreme terror. 
I was roped to 'Jim,' but it was of no use — my feet 
were paralyzed and slipped on the bare rock — and 
he said it was useless to try to go that way and we 
retraced our steps. I wanted to return to the 'Key 
Hole,' knowing that my incompetence would detain 
the party, and one of the young men said almost 
plainly that a woman was a dangerous encumbrance, 
but the trapper replied shortly that if it were not 
to take a lady up he would not go up at all. He 
went on to explore, and reported that further prog- 
ress on the correct line of ascent was blocked by 
ice; and then for two hours we descended, lowering 
ourselves by our hands from rock to rock along a 
boulder-strewn sweep of 4,000 feet, patched with 
ice and snow, and perilous from rolling stones. My 
fatigue, giddiness and pain from bruised ankles and 
arms half pulled out of their sockets, were so 
great that I should never have gone half-way had 
not 'Jim,' nolens volens, dragged me along with a 
patience and skill and withal a determination that 
I should ascend the Peak, which never failed. After 
descending about 2,000 feet to avoid the ice, we got 
into a deep trough with inaccessible sides, partly 
filled with ice and snow and partly with large and 
small fragments of rocks, which were constantly 
giving way, rendering the footing very insecure. 
That part to me was two hours of painful and un- 
willing submission to the inevitable; of trembling, 
slipping, straining, of smooth ice appearing when it 
was least expected and of weak entreaties to be left 
behind while the others went on. 'Jim' always 
said that there was no danger, that there was only 
a short bad bit ahead, and that I should go up, even 
if he carried me. 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



"Slipping, faltering, gasping from the exhausting 
toil in the rarified air, with throbbing hearts and 
panting lungs, we reached the top of the gorge and 
squeezed ourselves between two gigantic fragments 
of rock by a passage called the Dog's Lift, when I 
climbed on the shoulders of one man and then was 
hauled up. This introduced us by an abrupt turn 
around the southwest angle of the Peak to a narrow 



and, to my thinking, the worst part of the climb, 
one slip, and a breathing, thinking human being 
would lie 3,000 feet below, a shapeless, bloody 
heap! 'Ring' refused to traverse the ledge and re- 
mained at the 'Lift,' howling piteously. 

"From thence the view is more magnificent even 
than that of the 'Key Hole.' At the foot of the 
precipice below us lay a lovely lake, wood em- 



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VIEW OF CONTINENTAL DIVIDE 
Photo by F. P. Clatworthy 



shelf of considerable length, rugged, uneven and so 
overhung by the cliff in some places, that it is neces- 
sary to crouch to pass at all. Above, the Peak looks 
nearly vertical for 400 feet; and below, the most 
tremendous precipice I have ever seen descends in 
one unbroken fall. This is usually considered the 
most dangerous part of the ascent, but it does not 
seem so to me, for such foothold as there is is 
secure, and one fancies that it is possible to hold 
on with the hands. But there, and on the final. 



bosomed, from or near which the bright St. Vrain 
and other streams take their rise. I thought how 
their clear, cold waters, growing turbid in the 
affluent flats, would heat under the tropic sun and 
eventually form part of that great ocean river 
which renders our far-off islands habitable by im- 
pinging on their shores. Snowy ranges, one behind 
the other, extended to the distant horizon, folding 
in their wintry embrace the beauties of Middle 
Park. Pike's Peak, more than one hundred miles 



[185] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



off, lifted that vast but shapeless summit, which is 
the landmark of Southern Colorado. There were 
snow patches, snow slashes, snow abysses, snow- 
forlorn and soiled-looking, snow pure and dazzling, 
snow glistening above the purple robe of pine worn 
by all the mountains ; while away to the east, in lim- 
itless breadth, stretched the green-grey of the end- 
less Plains. Giants everywhere reared their splin- 
tered crests. From thence, with a single sweep, the 
eye takes in a distance of 300 miles — that distance 
to the west, north and south being made up of 
mountains ten, eleven, twelve and thirteen thou- 
sand feet in height, dominated by Long's Peak, 
Gray's Peak and Pike's Peak, all nearly the height 
of Mont Blanc ! On the Plains we traced the rivers 
by their fringe of cottonwoods to the distant Platte, 
and between us and them lay glories of mountain, 
canon and lake, sleeping in depths of blue and pur- 
ple most ravishing to the eye. 

"As we crept from the ledge around a horn of 
rock I beheld what made me perfectly sick and dizzy 
to look at — the terminal Peak itself — a smooth, 
cracked face or wall of pink granite as nearly per- 
pendicular as anything could well be, up which 
it was impossible to climb, well deserving the name 
of the 'American Matterhorn.' 

"Scaling, not climbing, is the correct term for 
this last ascent. It took one hour to accomplish 
500 feet, pausing for breath every minute or two. 
The only foothold was in narrow cracks or on min- 
ute projections on the granite. To get a toe in 
these cracks, or here and there on a scarcely obvious 
projection, while crawling on hands and knees, all 
the while tortured with thirst and gasping and 
struggling for breath, this was the climb; but at 
last the Peak was won. A grand, well-defined 
mountain-top it is, a nearly level acre of boulders, 
with precipitous sides all around, the one we came 
up being the only accessible one. 

"It was not possible to remain long. One of the 
young men was seriously alarmed by bleeding from 
the lungs, and the intense dryness of the day and 
the rarification of the air at a height of nearly 15,000 
feet, made respiration very painful. There is al- 
ways water on the Peak, but it was frozen as hard 
as a rock, and the sucking of ice and snow increases 
thirst. We all suffered severely from the want of 
water, and the gasping for breath made our mouths, 
and tongues so dry that articulation was difficult 
and the speech of all unnatural. 

"From the summit were seen in unrivalled com- 
bination all the views which had rejoiced our eyes 

[186] 



during the ascent. It was something at last to 
stand upon the storm-rent crown of this lonely sen- 
tinel of the Rocky Range, on one of the mightiest 
of the vertebrae of the backbone of the North Amer- 
ican continent, and to see the waters start for both 
oceans. Uplifted above love and hate and storms 
of passion, calm arriidst the eternal silences, fanned 
by zephyrs and bathed in living blue, peace rested 
for that one bright day on the Peak as if it were 
some region. 

" 'Where falls not rain, or hail, or any snow, 
Or ever wind blows loudly.' 

"We placed our names, with the date of ascent, 
in a tin within a crevice, and descended to the ledge, 
sitting on the smooth granite, getting our feet into 
cracks and against projections, and letting ourselves 
down by our hands, 'Jim' going before me, so that 
I might steady my feet against his powerful shoul- 
ders. I was no longer giddy, and faced the preci- 
pice of 3,500 feet without a shiver. Repassing the 
ledge and lift, we accomplished the descent through 
600 feet of ice and snow with many falls and 
bruises, but no worse mishap, and there separated, 
the young men taking the steepest but most direct 
way to the 'Key Hole' with the intention of getting 
ready for the march home, and 'Jim' and I taking 
what he thought the safer route for me — a descent 
over boulders for 2,000 feet, and then a tremendous 
ascent to the 'Key Hole.' I had various falls and 
once hung by my frock, which caught on a rock, 
and 'Jim' severed it with his hunting-knife, upon 
which I fell into a crevice full of soft snow. We 
were driven lower down the mountain than he had 
intended by impassable tracts of ice, and the ascent 
was tremendous. For the last 200 feet the boulders 
were of enormous size and the steepness fearful. 
Sometimes I drew myself up on hands and knees, 
sometimes crawled; sometimes 'Jim' pulled me up 
by my arms, or a lariat, and sometimes I stood on 
his shoulders, or he made steps for me of his feet 
and hands, but at six we stood on the 'Key Hole' 
in the splendor of the sinking sun, all color deepen- 
ing, all peaks glorifying, all shadows purpling, all 
peril past. 

" 'Jim' had parted with his brusquerie when we 
parted from the students and was gentle and con- 
siderate beyond anything, though I knew that he 
must be grievously disappointed, both in my courage 
and strength. Water was an object of earnest 
desire. My tongue rattled in my mouth and I could 
hardly articulate. It is good for one's sympathies 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



to have for once a severe experience of thirst. Truly 
there was 

" 'Water, water, everywhere. 
But not a drop to drink.' 

"Three times its apparent gleam deceived even 
the mountaineer's eye, but we found only a foot 
of 'glare ice,' At last, in a deep hole, he succeeded 
in bireaking the ice and by putting one's arm far 
down one could scoop 
up a little water in 
one's hand, but it was 
tormentingly insuffi- 
cient. With great dif- 
ficulty and much assist- 
ance I recrossed Boul- 
der field, was carried 
to the horse and lifted 
upon him, and when 
we reached the camp- 
ing ground I was lift- 
ed off him and laid on 
the ground, wrapped 
up in blankets, a hu- 
miliating termination 
of a great exploit. The 
horses were saddled 
and the young men 
were all ready to start, 
but 'Jim' quietly said, 
'Now, gentlemen, I 
want a good night's 
rest and we shan't stir 
from here tonight.' I 
believe they were really 
glad to have it so, as 
one of them was quite 
'finished.' I retired to 
my arbor, wrapped my- 
self in a roll of blan- 
kets and was soon 
asleep. When I woke 
the moon was high, 
shining through the sil- 
very branches, whiten- 
ing the bald Peak 
above and glittering on 
the great abyss of snow 
behind, and pine logs 
were blazing like a 
bonfire in the cold, still 
air. My feet were so 
icy-cold that I could 



not sleep again, and getting some blankets to sit in, 
and making a roll of them for my back, I sat for 
two hours by the camp fire. It was wierd and glor- 
iously beautiful. The students were asleep not far 
o£E in their blankets, with their feet towards the 
fire. 'Ring' lay on one side of me with his fine 
head on my arm, . and his master sat smoking, 
with the fire lighting up the handsome side of 
his face, and except for the tones of our voices 




LAKE URSULLA, ESTES PARK, COLORADO 
Photo by W. T. Parke 



[187] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



and the occasional crackle and splutter as a pine 
knot blazed up, there was no sound on the 
mountain side. The beloved stars of my far-off 
home were overhead, the Plough and the Pole Star, 
with their steady light ; the glittering Pleiades, look- 
ing larger than I ever saw them, and 'Orion's 
studded belt' shining gloriously. Once only some 
wild animals prowled near the camp, when 'Ring,' 
with one bound, disappeared from my side, and the 
horses, which were picketed by the stream, broke 
their lariats, stampeded and came rushing wildly 
towards the fire, and it was fully half an hour be- 
fore they were caught and quiet was restored. 
'Jim,' or Mr. Nugent, as I always scrupulously 
called him, told stories of his early youth and of a 
great sorrow which had led him to embark on a law- 
less and desperate life. His voice trembled and tears 
rolled down his cheek. Was it semi-conscious act- 
ing, I wondered, or was his dark soul really stirred 
by the silence, the beauty and the memories of 
youth ? 

"We reached Estes Park at noon of the following 
day. A more successful ascent of the Peak was 
never made, and I would not now exchange my 
memories of its perfect beauty and extraordinary 
sublimity for any other experience of mountaineer- 
ing in any part Of the world. Yesterday snow fell 
en the summit, and it will be inaccessible for eight 
months to come." 



Pleasant Valley 

Pleasant Valley is a beautiful park lying just 
back of the first ridge of hogbacks, six miles north- 
west of Fort Collins. It is penned in between the 
high hills of the Front Range on the west, the hog- 
backs on the north and east, and is crossed from 
west to east by the Cache la Poudre river, which 
debouches from the canon at the extreme west end 
of the valley. It is about two miles long from east 
to west and varies in width from one-fourth of a 
mile to a mile. This beautiful valley early attracted 
the attention of the first settlers on the river and all 
the farm and pasture lands were squatted upon in 
1858-59 and '60. One of the first settlers of which 
there is any record was G. R. Sanderson, who lo- 
cated on the farm owned by Mrs. Joshua H. Yea- 
ger. Sanderson built the first irrigating ditch 
that took water from the Cache la Poudre river, 
and it was the first ditch built in Larimer County, 
its priority being dated June, 1860. It was also 
the second irrigating ditch built in Northern Colo- 

[188] 



rado, the first having been built just below Denver 
and took its water from the Platte. Its priority 
of appropriation is dated a few days ahead of tlie 
Sanderson, or Yeager ditch, as it is now called. 
J. H. Yeager purchased Sanderson's claim in 1864 
and took immediate possession. Samuel Bingham 
located on what is now the Doty place, situated at 
the foot of the west slope of Bingham hill, in 
1860. Bingham hill took its name from the old- 
timer. One of his daughters, Mrs. William Gard- 
ner, is still living at Laporte, but the old pioneer 
was gathered to his fathers more than thirty years 
ago. In 1862 Abner Loomis settled on a ranch 
in Pleasant Valley, being followed the following 
year by Benjamin T. Whedbee. Perry J. Bosworth 
came a little later and C. W. Harrington and Louis 
Blackstock in 1867. Capt. William M. Post and 
James H. Swan came from Connecticut in 1870 and 
purchased land in the west end of the valley, on 
which they lived several years. William P. Bos- 
worth became a resident of the valley in 1870 and 
he was followed a few years later by Charles E. 
Pennock and Perry Willis. 

In the fall of 1872 Jacob Flowers and a man 
named Laidlaw came West from Wyandotte, Kan- 
sas, in search of a location for a colony, and after 
looking over the state quite thoroughly, decided 
that Pleasant Valley and the Cache la Poudre val- 
ley afforded the best opportunities for their project. 
They returned to Kansas soon after the holidays 
and submitted such a flattering report that twenty- 
five families decided to leave the Sunflower State 
and journey westward. Some of these colonists 
stopped in Greeley and the remainder came on to 
Fort Collins in the spring of 1873. Among the 
latter were Jacob' Flowers and family, James Ne- 

■ ville and family, George Ismert and family and 
Querin Schang, then a young unmarried man. Mr. 
Flowers purchased of Joseph Mason a farm in 
Pleasant Valley, which he owned and occupied until 
his death a few years ago. In addition to making 

■ other improvements on the farm, he set out an or- 
chard and was among the first to demonstrate that 
fruit could be grown in Northern Colorado. In 
1882 he built a fine stone residence on his farm 
and also a large stone building which was occupied 
several years by himself and son, B. F. Flowers, 
dealers in general merchandise. That year he also 
laid out and platted the town of Bellvue, one of the 
most attractive little towns in the county. Since 
then Bellvue has made a steady growth, and Pleas- 
ant Valley is now thickly settled by enterprising 
and prosperous farmers, fruit growers and truck 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



gardeners. There are now two stores in Bellvue, 
postofSce and shops of various kinds, including meat 
market, wagon shop, blacksmith shop and other 
public conveniences. There were 131 votes polled 
in Bellvue precinct, which embraces Pleasant Val- 
ley, in 1908. 

Virginia Dale 

Virginia Dale was one of the most noted localities 
in the western country in the early days. It was 
known far and wide, its name and fame being 
spread from ocean to ocean by Overland stage trav- 
elers, described by magazine writ- 
ers and newspaper correspondents 
and discussed in public places all 
over the country, often in terms of 
praise and again with awe and su- 
perstition. It was the first division 
point northwest of Denver on the 
Overland stage line and was es- 
tablished as such in June, 1862, 
when the stage company moved 
down from the North Platte route. 
Joseph A. Slade, better known in 
those days as "Jack" Slade, was 
appointed division agent and had 
charge of the station the first year. 
He had been transferred from the 
North Platte route, where he was 
known and recognized as the most 
efficient division agent on the en- 
tire line. It is said of him that he 
never failed to get the United 
States mails through on time on his division, and 
that stage robbers and road agents had a hearty 
fear of him. 

Virginia Dale is located in the Black Hills in 
the northern part of Larimer county, about forty 
miles northwest of Fort Collins. It remained a 
division point on the Overland stage route until 
the Union Pacific Railroad was completed to Chey- 
enne, in 1867, and was then abandoned. The sta- 
tion house, stage stables and other buildings were 
erected by Slade, and the old station house, its walls 
scarred by bullet holes, is still standing. Slade had 
the reputation of being a gambler and desperado, 
but he never neglected his duty as division and sta- 
tion agent. He was a strict disciplinarian and ruled 
his drivers with an arbitrary hand, never permitting 
his orders to be evaded or disobeyed. At times he 
drank heavily, and when under the influence of 
liquor was a terror to his associates. It is said 



that he made Virginia Dale station a rendezvous 
for gamblers and road agents. Liquors of all kinds 
were kept and sold there and it soon became noted 
as being a resort for some of the hardest and most 
abandoned characters of the west; in fact it is 
claimed that stage robbers or road agents, as they 
were called, made their headquarters at Slade's 
place on Dale creek. He named the station Vir- 
ginia Dale in honor of his wife's maiden name. 
Slade remained in charge of the division and station 
for little more than a year and was then discharged 
by the stage company. His conduct during his drink- 
ing bouts became intolerable and the reputation of 




A GLIMPSE OF THE POUDRE ABOVE BELLVUE 

the station so bad that the company was compelled to 
make a change. Slade went to Montana and was 
hung by the vigilaJils in the fall of 1864 at Virginia 
City. The story of his career is told elsewhere in 
this volume. 

After Slade's dismissal, the late William S. Tay- 
lor was placed in charge of the Virginia Dale sta- 
tion. He had early that year (1863) returned 
from Illinois, where he married his first wife, whom 
he installed as housekeeper. She was a handsome, 
intelligent, cultured and a very amiable lady and 
was much admired for her tact and ability as a cook 
and entertainer by all stage going travelers who 
passed that way on their journey to and from Salt 
Lake and the Pacific coast. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor 
kept the station until 1866 when they were given 
the Laporte station which they kept until the Over- 
land stage line was abandoned on the completion 
of the Union Pacific railroad to Cheyenne. Mrs. 



[189] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Taylor died in Fort Collins in 1886, sincerely 
mourned by all who knew her. Mr. Taylor mar- 
ried Miss Mary Murch for his second wife and 
they soon afterward moved to Pasadena, California, 
where he died in 1895. 

In 1864-5-6 Virginia Dale was a noted camping 
place for emigrant trains. By order of General Con- 
nor, commander of the Department of the Plains, 
this route from Julesburg to Denver and thence on 
west through Laporte and Virginia Dale to Fort 
Steele, where it joined the old Oregon trail, was the 
only route that emigrants were permitted to travel 
during those years, owing to the hostility of the 
Northern Indians who infested the old North 
Platte route and raided and harrassed all who went 
or came that way. It was not an unusual sight to 
see fifty or one hundred emigrant wagons with their 
loads of human freight and merchandise in camp 
array at the Dale. It was a favorite camping place 
and caravans frequently stopped there for days at a 
time to rest the stock. 

To the east of the stage station is a high hill upon 
the summit of which Slade had erected a stone 
lookout in which he kept a watchman most of the 
time, when there was threatened trouble with the 
Indians in that vicinity. From the top of this hill 
there is a good view of the station and the Plains 
far to the east and to the northwest in which direc- 
tion the road led, and if the sentinel saw danger 
approaching the station he would signal to men 
there to that effect, and if he saw that danger 
threatened emigrant trains or the stage coaches he 
would signal the station, thus often averting Indian 
massacres which have dotted the Plains with the 
graves of their victims. To the northeast of the 
station is a mountain called Robbers Roost. On 
the top of this mountain, it is said, the stage robbers 
and road agents who made their headquarters at 
Slade's, hid the plunder they had taken from stage 
coaches and emigrant trains, which they had suc- 
ceeded in robbing. It is charged that Slade himself 
often engaged in these forays and hid the plunder 
thus secured on Robbers Roost until he had an 
opportunity to dispose of it elsewhere. 

To the southwest of the station and on the 
opposite side of the road, is a small cemetery in 
which there are three graves. One of these is that 
of a white man who was killed by the Indians. 
While out hunting the stranger killed a deer at 
no great distance from the station, and while in the 
act of skinning his game, he received an arrow in 
the back which penetrated one of his lungs. He 
turned about but could see no one. Mounting his 

[190] 



horse he rode to the station and told what had 
happened, dying soon afterwards. He was buried 
in the little graveyard, which the traveler may yet 
see as he passes along the road. One of the other 
graves contains the remains of Mrs. S. C. Leach, 
whose husband bought the station property of the 
Overland stage company and lived in the house and 
kept the postofEce for many years. Mr. Leach went 
to Wyoming in the early '80s and died there a few 
years later. Who the occupant of the third grave 
was is unknown. He may have been the victim of 
Slade's drunken anger, or that of a sick and weary 
traveler whom death claimed ere he reached his 
journey's end. 

To the southeast of the old station house and 
close to the main traveled road, there is a rock 
which has a perpendicular height of 500 feet. In 
connection with this rock there is a legend to the 
effect that a Cheyenne Indian warrior who became 
enamored of a young Ute squaw, but because of 
a tribal law of the Utes no member of that tribe 
was allowed to marry out of the tribe, he was re- 
fused her hand. Despairing of ever gaining the con- 
sent of the Utes to a violation of their tribal law, 
the warrior lover stole the Ute maiden and being 
pursued, both fled to the top of this rock. The 
rock was surrounded by Utes and seeing no way to 
escape the vengeance of their pursuers, they locked 
themselves in each others arms and leaped from 
the summit of the mountain and were dashed to 
pieces on the rocks below. This incident gave rise 
to the name "Lovers' Leap" which still clings to 
the rock. 

Albert D. Richardson, in his book, "Beyond the 
Mississippi", gives a different version of the romance 
from which the rock derives its name. In company 
with Schuyler Colfax, who was elected Vice- 
President of the United States in 1868, Lieutenant- 
Governor Bross of Illinois and Samuel Bowles, 
editor of the Springfield, Massachusetts, Republican, 
while going west in June, 1865, in an Overland 
coach, spent one Sunday at Virginia Dale. Mr. 
Richardson tells the story as follows : 

"The Indians did not catch us ; but a hundred 
miles west of Denver the troubles grew so serious 
that we waited for trustworthy information from 
the front, remaining one day at Virginia Dale 
station, in a lovely little valley imprisoned by tower- 
ing mountains. One of their precipitous walls is 
known as 'Lovers' Leap'. The legend runs that an 
emigrant, whose mistress had abandoned him and 
married another, threw himself from it and was 
dashed to pieces in full view of the woman for 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



whom he had flung away his life. The Secession 
founder of the station, not daring to call it Vir- 
ginia Davis in honor of Mrs. Jefferson Davis, 
found solace in Virginia Dale." 

Mr. Samuel Bowles, editor of the Springfield, 
Massachusetts, Republican, who, with others, ac- 
companied Mr. Richardson on this trip across the 
continent,- in a letter published in his paper, tells 
why the party spent a day at Virginia Dale, and 
also gives his impressions of the station, its occu- 
pants and their surroundings at that time. That 
was when Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Taylor kept the 
station. He says in a letter dated Virginia Dale, 
June 5 th, 1865: — 

"There was no aristocratic distinction between 
the days of the week, west of the Mississippi. The 
Broad church rules here are so broadly kept that 
even St. Burleigh of your modern Florence would 
find hearty welcome, particularly from our red 
brethren, who would rate his scalp with its orna- 
ments at .the value of a dozen of the ordinary sort. 
Sundays are as good as other days, no better. Stages 
run, stores are open, mines are dug, and stamp mills 
crush. But our Eastern prejudices are not alto- 
gether conquered by the 'spirit of the age'; and so, 
on reaching here yesterday morning at sunrise, we 
commanded a twenty-four hours halt. Possibly 
our principles had a point put to them by learn- 
ing from the down stage that 'Mr. Lo, the poor 
Indian,' had got loose up the line, stolen horses, and 
interrupted communications. At any rate the 
motive fear for our scalps or fear for our souls — we 
followed the fashion of our forefathers, and slept 
through the day, some of us in the coach, the rest 
stretched out on the piazza of the only house in 
Virginia Dale; clambering up a high rock in the 
evening to view the landscape o'er the valley, 
streams, snow-clad mountains, and far-distant 
Plains, and closing out our observances with a more 
hearty than harmonious rendering of our small 
repertoire of psalm tunes. 

"Lodgings are not extensive in this locality ; the 
Speaker borrowed a bed ; two slept in the coach ; and 
two of us rolled ourselves up in our blankets and 
took the floor. I hit upon a board whose hard side 
was accidentally put up ; and what with this and hun- 
gry and dry and noisy stage drivers coming in at 
from 2 to 4 a. m. and less vociferous but quite as 
hungry invaders of our bodily peace in the form of 
vermin, the night brought more of reflection than re- 
fection — to us. But we are off early this morning, 
having satisfied our Christian consciences, and learn- 



ing that the Indians were certainly still one hundred 
and fifty miles away, but leaving behind for a Mon- 
day's rest a fresh stage load of eager gold seekers and 
Salt Lake merchants, whom our scruples on the 
subject of Sunday traveling had thrown one day be- 
hind. But they were solaced by the arguments that 
we would make the path straight for them above, 
that they must stop somewhere, and that here was 
the best food and the prettiest cook on the line. 

"Virginia Dale deserves its pretty name. A 
pearly, lively-looking stream runs through a beauti- 
ful basin of perhaps one hundred acres, among the 
mountains — for we are within the entrance of the 
great hills — stretching away in smooth and rising 
pasture to nooks and crannies of the wooded range; 
fronted by rock embankment, and flanked by the 
snowy peaks themselves; warm with a June sun, 
and rare and pure with an air into which no fetid 
breath has poured itself — it is difficult to imagine 
a more loveable spot in Nature's kingdom. It is 
one hundred miles north from Denver, half of the 
way along the foot of the hills, crossing frequent 
streams, swollen and angry with melting snows, 
and watering the only really green acres we have 
seen since leaving Kansas; and half the road wind- 
ing over and around and between the hills that form 
the approaches to the Rocky Mountains. Only the 
station of the stage line occupies the dale ; a house, 
a barn, a blacksmith shop; the keeper and his wife, 
the latter as sweet, as gentle and as lady-like as if 
just transplanted from Eastern society, yet prepar- 
ing bountiful meals for twice-daily stage loads of 
hungry and dirty passengers ; the stock tender and 
his assistant — these were all the inhabitants of the 
spot, and no neighbors within fifteen miles. For 
the day, our party and its escort — the soldiers lying 
off in the grass by the watdr with their camp fire 
and their baggage wagon — made unusual life, and 
gave a peculiar picturesqueness to the sequestered 
spot. 

Joseph A. Slade was the first white man to locate 
in what is now known as Virginia Dale. He built 
a division station on Dale creek for the Overland 
stage company in 1862 and had charge of the station 
for the company for about one year. He was suc- 
ceeded by William S. Taylor and he by S. C. 
Leach. When the station was abandoned by the 
Overland stage company in 1868, Mr. Leach pur- 
chased the property and lived there until 1885, 
when he sold out to W. C. Stover and moved to 
Wyoming, where he died several years ago. It was 
not until the spring of 1872 that other settlers be- 



[191] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



gan to come and locate along the streams and estab- 
lish homes. Among the first of these were Andrew 
Boyd and Joseph H. George who took up ranches 
on Dale creek a few miles below the old station. 
Peter Gealow took up a ranch that year on Dead- 
man creek, a tributary of Dale creek. Thomas B. 
Bishopp located on Dale creek about a mile below 
the old station in 1873 and still lives on the ranch 
he took up then. Andrew Boyd and Peter Gealow 
also still occupy the ranches they settled on in 1872. 
Joseph H. George remained on his ranch until 1909 
when he sold it to John Muse. These early settlers 
were followed soon afterwards by I. G. Stafford, D. 
C. Young, C. B. Mendenhall, J. M. McCain, 
Moses Morrison, W. B. Woodruff, Frank Kibler, 
W. H. Harriman, Daniel Heckart, Mrs. HoUiday, 
Alexander Murchland, Fred Christman and W. T. 
Webber. Some of the first settlers have since died 
and others have moved away, but their ranches are 
occupied by new comers. 

Many others have located in Virginia Dale since 
then, so that in 1908, 38 votes were polled in that 
precinct. The first school house built at Virginia 
Dale was erected in 1874 and it is still in use. C. 
B. Mendenhall and W. H. Harriman were mem- 
bers of the board of school directors at that time, 
and a school was taught in the new building that 
year. Miss Emma Stafford and Joseph and Alex 
Murchland were among those who attended the 
first school. Frank Kibler and his wife were the 
first couple married in Virginia Dale, and Rachael 
Boyd, daughter of Andrew Boyd, was the first child 
born there. The first settlers of Virginia^ Dale 
were attracted there by its superior advantages as 
a stock country and the opportunities for dairying, 
an industry that is still carried on with excellent 
success. The parks and hillsides afford fine grazing 
and the valleys along the streams have been con- 
verted into splendid meadows, gardens and orchards. 
It is a well watered region, its principal streams 
being Dale creek, Fish creek, Deadman creek, and 
Six and Ten Mile creeks. These streams furnish 
an abundance of water for stock and for the irriga- 
tion of meadows, gardens and orchards. 

A church has been erected at Deadman crossing 
of the Laramie road, in which services are held once 
in two weeks the year round, the pulpit being 
supplied by Rev. Franklin Moore of Fossil Creek. 
The finding of the body of a man who had evi- 
dently been killed near the stream by the Indians, 
gave rise to the name "Deadman", by which the 
creek has since been known. The bones of the un- 
fortunate unknown rest in the soil of a knoll im- 

[192] 



mediately west of the house built by Fred Christ- 
man in 1875. The ranch is now owned by W. H. 
Aldrich, postmaster at Virginia Dale. 

Virginia Dale Church 

The first religious work done at Virginia Dale 
was the organization of a Sunday School in 1878. 
The first preaching was by Rev. D. E. Finks, pastor 
of the Fort Collins Presbyterian church. He held 
services in the school house. The church was first 
built as a union church near the present home of 
Daniel Heckart in 1880. In 1881 it was dedi- 
cated as a Methodist church by Rev. Merritt, 
Presiding Elder. The congregation was served 
thereafter by Revs. Allen, Coyle, Long and Trow- 
bridge. In 1885 the church building was moved to 
its present site on Fred Christman 's ranch on Dead- 
man creek, Mr. Christman donating the site. In 
1889 the Methodists abandoned the field and for 
three years no services were held there. In 1893, 
Rev. Franklin Moore took charge of the work and 
a Presbyterian church was organized. Rev. T. C. 
Kirkwood, ofiBcating. The work has since been 
carried on by Rev. Moore, with the exception of 
three years when he was stationed at Hillsboro. He 
resumed services in 1907 and is still in charge of the 
work. 



Livermore 

Livermore derives its name from a combination of 
the names of two of its earliest permanent settlers, 
Adolphus Livernash and Stephen Moore — ^who built 
a cabin in 1863 on the ranch recently owned by 
Andrew Brooker, one fourth of a mile south of the 
present Livermore hotel, store and postoffice, and 
engaged in prospecting for coal and precious min- 
erals. Livernash, then a sixteen year old boy, a 
native of Wisconsin, remained only a few months 
with Moore, returning to Laporte where he secured 
employment. In 1874 he married Sarah E. Isard, 
James H. Swan, a Justice of the Peace, performing 
the ceremony. Later Mr. Livernash moved to 
Boulder county and engaged in mining. He was 
killed by lightning in 1883, while working in a 
mine. His widow and three children, two daugh- 
ters and son, are residents of Fort Collins, the son 
Edward J. Livernash being associated with his 
brother-in-law, Walter P. Hurley, in the drug 
business, and proprietors of the Owl Drug Store. 
Moore held on to his claim in Livermore until 
1871 when he sold it to Russell Fisk. Shortly after 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER 



COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



that Moore disappeared and his present where- 
abouts, if he is still living, is unknown. At the 
time Moore and Livernash built their little one- 
room cabin on the banks of the North fork of the 
Cache la Poudre, what is now known as Livermore, 
extended from Laporte west to the Continental 
Divide and from the southern boundary of Larimer 
county north to the present state line between Colo- 
rado and Wyoming, and the human occupants of 
that vast extent of territory were a band of Ute 
Indians who made their home in North Park. It was 
a vast unsurveyed and, save for the Overland stage 
road, an untracked wilderness. The smile of a white 
woman had never been seen and the prattle of a 
child had never been heard within its borders. 
Game and fur bearing animals were numerous and 
it was the hunter's and trapper's paradise. As 
early as 1824 hunters and trappers in the employ of 
the Hudson Bay Fur Company built their cabins 
along the streams in the fall of the year and carried 
on their operations of trapping beaver and killing 
other fur bearing animals during the winter season, 
leaving in the spring with their packs of furs for 
their Northern rendezvous, only to return the fol- 
lowing fall to resume operations. These annual 
invasions of hunters and trappers from the North 
continued until about 1850 and until they had 
practically exhausted the supply of beaver and were 
then known no more. 

In the fall of 1861, N. C. Alford of Fort Collins, 
Jacob Cornelison of Virginia Dale, and the late 
William Calloway, established a hunters' camp on 
Meadow creek, fifteen miles north of the present 
Livermore postoffice, where they spent the succeed- 
ing winter hunting game for the Denver market. 
That same fall another hunting party established a 
camp at the mouth of Lone Pine canon on the 
ranch now owned by Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Bellairs. 
The country was rich at that time in meat produc- 
ing wild animals, such as deer, antelope and elk, and 
these hunting parties were very successful. 

Out of that portion of the country named Liver- 
more by Livernash and Moore in 1863, has since 
been carved the entire county of Jackson, also the 
following election precincts in Larimer county: 
Home, Laramie, St. Cloud, Virginia Dale, Estes 
Park, Pinewood, Buffum, Stratton Park, Drake, 
Buckhorn and Livermore, containing in 1908, a 
voting population of 663. It must be remembered 
that these are all mountain precincts and do not 
include any part of Jackson county. 

The Livermore country was early recognized as 
the best grazing and stock raising section in North- 



ern Colorado and nearly all of the first settlers were 
stockmen interested in either horses, cattle or sheep. 
It is bountifully watered by the Cache la Poudre 
river, the North fork, the North and South Lone 
Pine, Dale, Trail, Meadow, Rabbit and Stonewall 
creeks, besides numerous small branches of these 
streams, while numbers of open parks and grass 
covered hills and blufEs afEord splendid pasturage. 
The bottom lands along the streams make fine 
meadows, from which thousands of tons of hay are 
cut annually. These advantages were not to be 
overlooked by the stockmen, hence they were the 
first to locate there and establish homes. Next to 
the arrival of Moore and Livernash in 1863, came 
Cyrus Godwin, a hunter, who located on what is 
now the Jack Currie ranch, in 1865. Jacob Cor- 
nelison, who spent the year 1863 in the Livermore 
country, says there were two Irishmen on the Milne 
place (now covered by the Halligan reservoir) 
who raised a crop of oats and potatoes and sold 
their products at Laporte for fabulous prices. 
William Calloway, who hunted here in 1861-2 and 
then went to Idaho, returned in 1867 and located 
on what is now known as the Cradock ranch, and 
in the spring of 1869 his brother, Martin and fam- 
ily came out from Indiana and settled on a ranch 
in Boxelder canon. Mrs. Calloway was the first 
white woman to venture into that section of the 
country. Her nearest white woman neighbor lived 
sixteen miles away. Mrs. Calloway is now a resi- 
dent of Fort Collins. Her husband died January 
7, 1879, and she later married William Calloway, 
who died in 1891. 

Horace and Charles Emerson spent the winter 
of 1869-70 in Coe & Carter's employ getting out 
railroad ties above the Rustic. Coe & Carter built 
the wagon road to the tie camp over which camp 
supplies were hauled. At this time Steve George, 
or "Dutch" George, and 'Trench Pete" were truck 
gardening on what is now the Roberts Bros, ranch 
at the mouth of Lone Pine creek. Later "Dutch" 
George moved to the mouth of Elkhorn creek where 
he lived until 1878, when he was killed by a bear 
near Laramie Peak. His real name was George 
Neare. 

In the spring of 1870, John Hardin and Fred 
Smith moved from Pleasant Valley into the, moun- 
tains and settled on the ranches they still own on 
South Lone Pine creek, twenty-four miles west of 
the Livermore postoffice, both engaging in the cattle 
business and lumbering. Obenchain built a saw 
mill near them in 1872 and sold it to Smith in 1875. 
Quite a number of settlers located in the Livermore 



[193] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



county in 1870 to engage in the stock raising busi- 
ness, including Charles Emerson, H. A. Keach, Sol- 
omon Batterson, John W. Calloway, Jacob Mitchell 
and others. In 1871, Stephen Moore sold the claim 
he and young Livernash located in 1863 to Russell 
Fisk. Just before that a weekly mail route had been 
established from Greeley to Livermore, and Moore 
was appointed postmaster, but had not received his 
commission when he transfered his property. Mr. 
Fisk was appointed in his place and was, therefore, 
Livermore's first postmaster. John Gordon of 
Greeley, was the first mail carrier. Before that the 
people of the Livermore country had to go to La- 
porte for their mail. Peter Huffsmith of Greeley 
secured the contract for carrying the mail after 
Gordon's time was out, and he put on a stage for 
the convenience of passengers, making three trips a 
week. 

The Livermore school district was organized in 
1871 and Mrs. Fisk taught the first school. She 
did not have many pupils, for the reason there were 
not many children in the country. Andrew Gil- 
christ located on the ranch at the mouth of Lone 
Pine canon now owned by Mr. and Mrs. J. R. 
Bellairs, in 1871. He sold it later to a Mr. Spencer 
who, in time, sold to George Burnham and from 
him it passed to Harry Gilpin-Brown, whose widow 
is the present Mrs. Bellairs. Gilchrist later 
went to Wyoming where he amassed a fortune in 
the sheep business. That year the Emerson Bros, 
embarked in the cattle business, in which they have 
continued to the present time with marked success. 
George Barlow started a blacksmith's shop at Stone- 
wall crossing in 1872. Lewis Wetzler settled on 
the Lone Pine in 1874 and he and Russell Fisk 
and R. O. Roberts were members of the school 
board that year. T. A. Gage bought the Crystal 
Springs ranch in 1874, and in 1876 he taught the 
Livermore school. 

Mr. Fisk built a hotel and store on the ranch he 
bought of Moore and otherwise improved the pro- 
perty, and in 1874 leased the hotel to R. O. Roberts 
for one year. When the time was up Mr. Roberts 
built a hotel at the Forks. Clerin Woods kept 
bachelor's hall on the McNey place in 1874-5 and in 
1876, John McNey, John H. Sargisson, and J. S. 
Sloan located in Livermore. Among the new 
comers between that time and 1880 were Alson 
Weymouth, George Burnham, L. H. Chase, D. W. 
Harned, Pierce Riddle, Asbury Riddle, M. L. 
Landes, S. B. Chaffee, F. K. Chaffee, A. H. Mor- 

[194] 



gan, D. M. Halligan, C. M. Chase and Andrew 
and John Brooker. The most prominent stock- 
men then were Emerson Bros., H. T. Miller, T. A. 
Gage, Asbury and Pierce Riddle, S. B. ChafFee, S. 
Batterson, A. H. Morgan, R. O. Roberts, Alson 
Weymouth, L. H. Chase, Moody & Buzzell, John 
S. Williams, John McNey, Bennett Bros., William 
Calloway, James and Daniel Hardin, John Hardin 
and D. M. Halligan. Some of these were operat- 
ing dairies, some engaged in horse raising and others 
in wool growing, but most of them were in the 
cattle business. Among those who settled in the 
Livermore country in the decade following 1880 
were W. E. Tibbetts, J. Cornelison, George W. 
Seibert, William Parcell, William Poland, Harry 
Gilpin-Brown, A. H. Aldrich, Dayton Robinson, 
George Clark, B. A. Griffith, Levi Weymouth, 
John Pearce and Samuel Stearley. A hotel was 
built on the Elkhorn in 1876, and it was quite a 
famous summer resort for several years. The vener- 
able Henry T. West, one of the pioneers of Greeley, 
kept the hotel in 1879-80. The building was 
burned down in 1886. In the fall of 1886, W. P. 
Keays leased the Livermore hotel of Russell Fisk 
and managed it until 1890. That year the County 
Commissioners laid out a new road which crossed 
the North fork a quarter of a mile above the old 
Fisk crossing. William Brelsford built a new 
hotel, store and barn at the new crossing and the 
old Fisk hotel was abandoned. In 1891 James H. 
Swan bought the Brelsford property and soon after- 
wards built a hall where public gatherings were 
held. In 1898 a telephone line was extended to 
Livermore from Fort Collins and an exchange 
established in the store. Between the years 1890 
and 1900, Frank Jones, H. A. Keach, Leslie Hors- 
ley, Charles Cradock, C. E. Peters and A. L. 
Johnson become residents of Livermore. In 1901 
C. W. Ramer bought the hotel and store and kept 
them until December, 1909, when he sold them to 
Malcom Bellairs, the present proprietor. 

On May 20th, 1904 a cloudburst on the Stone- 
wall watershed caused an unprecedented flood which 
did many thousands of dollars damage. It carried 
away a number of bridges, the North Fork ditch 
flume over Stonewall creek, and inundated all the 
bottom lands from the mouth of that stream to the 
mouth of the North Fork. Water three feet deep 
poured through the hotel and the public hall was 
carried away bodily and completely wrecked. A 
piano that was used in the hall was afterwards 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



found near Bellvue, having floated down stream 
with the flood more than twenty miles. The bridges 
were soon replaced and Mr. Ramer built a larger 
and better hall. 

The first couple married in Livermore was 
William Calloway and Mrs. Keach, but the date of 
the wedding is not recalled. It probably took place 
in the early seventies. The honors of being the first 
child born lies between a son of Mr. and Mrs. 
John Gordon and a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
John Hardin, named Anna. 

Among the Livermore Pioneers who have passed 
on to their reward are William Calloway, John 
Weymouth, S. B. Chaffee, John McNey, W. W. 
Lowery, A. H. Aldrich, D. M. Halligan, William 
Batterson, Dayton Robinson, Harry Gilpin-Brown, 
Charles Gilpin-Brown, C. R. Bullard, Robert 
Royston and Mrs. S. Batterson. 

I am indebted for much of the data concerning the 
early history of Livermore to an excellent paper read 
before the Livermore Woman's Club by Mrs. A. H. 
Aldrich, March 10th, 1910. 

In 1895, the General Assembly of Colorado ap- 
propriated $16,000 for use in constructing a State 
road from Bellvue, via Livermore and Ute Pass, to 
Walden, North Park, now the county seat of 
Jackson county. The road was built in 1896 and 
opened for travel in 1897. That year a mail route 
with a daily line of stages, was established between 
Fort Collins and Walden, but the stage line only 
remained in operation about a year and was then dis- 
continued. A postoffice, with S. J. Peery as post- 
master, was established at Westlake on the South 
Lone Pine about 25 miles west of Livermore, and 
this, too, was discontinued when the stage was 
pulled oiiE the road. 



Little Thompson Valley 

The stream known as the Little Thompson rises 
at the base of two mountains, called the Twin Sis- 
ters. By their position they entirely cut the creek off 
from the waters of the Snowy Range, hence, as is 
well known in the summer months the Little 
Thompson furnishes but a meagre supply of water. 
This supply is now, however, supplemented by im- 
mense reservoirs in which the spring floods are stored 
for use later in the season, so that, at the present 
time, the entire valley, from the foothills to the east 
county line, is under a high state of cultivation, 
yielding prodigious crops of grain, potatoes, fruit. 



hay and sugar beets. From the base of Twin 
Sisters, whose position is directly east of Long's 
Peak, the stream follows a winding course, the 
general direction of which is east until it crosses the 
line dividing Larimer and Weld counties and is 
soon thereafter merged in the Big Thompson, which 
empties into the South Platte a little south of the 
town of Evans. It follows a broad, natural basin, 
which is noted above all the country around for its 
deep, rich and very productive soil. Through this 
basin the creek has cut its crooked way, often to a 
depth of six and eight feet, without reaching the 
limit of the soil. In the early days, the Little 
Thompson was noted, too, on account of the large 
trees lining its banks, some of them attaining the 
dimension of 18 feet in circumference. For a 
decade or more after the first settlement the Little 
Thompson valley was an excellent stock range, the 
grasses here being unusually plentiful and nutritious. 
Among the first settlers of the valley were W. R. 
Blore and Culver & Mahoney. These men and 
David Lyken located in the valley near the course 
of the Little Thompson in 1866 and engaged quite 
extensively in the cattle business. At one time Cul- 
ver & Mahoney had as many as 3,000 head of cattle 
and horses on the range,' tut later, owing to the 
taking up of land by settlers and the narrowing of 
the range, they disposed of their herds and engaged 
in raising high grade cattle. They were brothers-in- 
law and came to the Little Thompson valley from 
the Home Falls mine in Boulder county. Mr. 
Lyken later became a noted live stock thief de- 
tective and had much to do in the early days in 
ridding the country of a class of undesirable citizens, 
many of whom found long homes in the state pen- 
itentiary. Culver & Mahoney's house was in 
Boulder county, but their barns, corrals and the 
most of their land was in Larimer county. Four 
miles down the creek from their ranch one William 
Stagg opened out a small cattle ranch, which later 
became the property of George Zweck of Long- 
mont. Two miles further down the stream James 
M. Eaglin located on a half section of land, on 
which he raised a crop of wheat, the first grain 
grown in the valley. Eaglin was quite a prominent 
man in the county, serving as County Superintend- 
ent from 1870 to 1872. In the summer of 1875 he 
sold his farm to John C. Ish, who shortly after- 
wards sold the west half of the tract to his brother- 
in-law, John W. Everhard. Mr. Ish early in the 
90's sold his farm and moved to Fort Collins, which 
has since been his home, although he owns large 

[195] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



stock and ranch interests in North Park. The 
Everhard farm still remains in the family. Eaglin 
went to North Park after selling his farm and re- 
engaged in mining. Later he was drowned while 
trying to ford Eagle river. 

Mr. Ish came to Larimer county in 1869 and 
started a cattle ranch on the Buckhorn. Up to 1875 
but few settlers located on land in the eastern part of 
the Little Thompson valley, but at that time there 
were quite a number west of the present railroad 
line. Among them was Lewis Cross, who was 
County Commissioner from 1878 to 1881; Preffer 
Bros; Krueger & Son; Hamlin; Henry and Hugo 
Hupp; Charlie Meining; Mr. Cronk and others, 
whose names we have been unable to obtain. Up 
to this time the principal industry was the running 
of cattle, only a few of the settlers giving any atten- 
tion to farming, but since that time no part of the 
county has developed more rapidly as a farming 
country than the Little Thompson valley. In 1876 
there were about 2,000 bushels of grain raised in 
the valley; in 1877 about 6,000 bushels of wheat 
and oats, and in 1878 about 16,000 bushels. From 
this on the production of farm crops increased 
rapidly and within a decade thereafter of the wheat 
crop alone more than 200,000 bushels were mar- 
keted from the farms of the Little Thompson 
valley. 

The Overland stage crossing was about a mile 
and a half up the stream from where the Colorado 
& Southern railroad bridge is now. Lewis Cross 
located in 1873 on a farm on the creek bottom im- 
mediately west of the railroad and the house he 
built on it is still standing. He was appointed 
the first postmaster of the Little Thompson post- 
office, an office he held for several years. In the 
fall of 1877, after the completion of the Colorado 
Central railroad (now the Colorado & Southern) 
from Denver to Cheyenne, the name of the post- 
office was changed to Berthoud, in honor of Capt. 
E. L. Berthoud of Golden, chief engineer, who laid 
out and established the line for the railroad. In 
1877, Peter Turner, a Colorado pioneer, who had 
been successful at mining in Gilpin and Boulder 
counties, came to the Little Thompson valley 
and purchased a track of land on the blufE north of 
the creek, on which, in 1880, he laid off and platted 
the present town of Berthoud. The postoffice was 
soon afterwards moved to this point. To Mr. 
Turner belongs the honor of founding one of the 
prettiest as it is one of the most thrifty and pros- 
perous towns in Northern Colorado. It is the 

[196] 



market town of a wide extent of very productive 
farming country and has for more than twenty 
years, been the most extensive primary wheat mar- 
ket in Colorado. It has a population of about 
800, with churches, high school, public halls, a 
newspaper, splendid water works and sewer sys- 
tem, flour mill, elevator, well graded streets and 
numerous handsome business houses and many fine 
private residences. Every line of business is repre- 
sented, and it is the shipping point for thousands of 
head of fat cattle, hogs and sheep annually, in ad- 
dition to grain, flour, foodstuffs, fruit and other 
farm products. Berthoud is situated 18 miles di- 
rectly south of Fort Collins, the county seat. 

Brusque, big-hearted Peter Turner, the founder 
and guardian spirit of Berthoud, builded better than 
he dreamed of when he erected the first frame cabin 
on the present site of the town, and it must be 
gratifying to him now to look back and note the 
changes that have since taken place ; to glance up and 
down its busy streets and see the large well-filled 
blocks, the handsome homes, churches, schools and 
hotels that have clustered about that lonely spot on 
the open prairie which he named Berthoud thirty 
years ago. Mr. Turner is still living in the enjoy- 
ment of rugged health and loves to tell of the days 
when Berthoud was born. In the country immed- 
iately tributary to Berthoud there are annually pro- 
duced 500,000 bushels of wheat, 65,000 bushels of 
oats, 30,000 bushels of barley, 75,000 to 100,000 
sacks of potatoes, thousands of tons of sugar beets, 
and from 40,000 to 50,000 tons of hay. The surplus 
of all these products, in addition to the tons and tons 
of fruits and vegetables, is sold on the streets of 
Berthoud and the money spent or banked in that 
town. The surplus hay is converted by the thrifty 
farmers into beef and mutton for the Eastern mar- 
kets. About 25,000 sheep and lambs and from 
2,000 to 3,000 head of cattle are annually fattened 
in the feeding pens of the Little Thompson valley 
and mainly shipped and sold to Eastern consumers. 
The feeding and fattening of live stock helps to 
keep up the fertility of the soil and thus increase 
the yield of farm products and the value of the 
farms. Good farm land, having stable water 
rights, ranges in value from $100 to $200 per acre 
and very few of them are ever offered for sale. 

The Free ]\lasons, Odd Fellows, Knights of 
Pythias, Woodmen of the World, Daughters of 
Rebecca, and several other secret fraternal orders 
are represented in Berthoud by flourishing lodges. 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



The bank of Berthoud, established in 1892, with 
T. C. Bunyan as President, does a large, safe and 
constantly increasing business. The First National 
Bank established in 1905 with Guy E. Loomis as 
Cashier, is also a stable and flourishing financial 
institution, while the Bulletin, an up-to-date 
weekly newspaper, furnishes mental pabulum and 
the current neighborhood news to the reading mem- 
bers of the community. 

The following sketch of the early history of 
Berthoud is taken from the Berthoud Bulletin 
of December, 1910: 

"The thriving little city of Berthoud is situated 
on the Colorado & Southern railroad in the south- 
east corner of Larimer county. The first store 
was started in old Berthoud in 1880 by Snyder & 
Grill. This was a general merchandise stock and 
was bought by J. Y. Munson & Company in 1881. 
In 1883 the stock of goods was moved to the pres- 
ent Berthoud and located in the building where J. 
H. McClung's meat market now is. 

"The first blacksmith shop was started by W. C. 
Fenton's father on the lots where the U. B. church 
is situated. The second store was commenced by 
Bowman & Day where L. M. Walker has his pool 
hall. The first church that was organized was the 
Presbyterian, which held services in the building now 
occupied by M. D. Whipple as an office. The 
U. B. church erected the first church edifice which 
is now owned by the Baptist denomination and is 
in first-class condition. Berthoud's splendid public 
school was commenced in a two-room building on 
the ground which is now Sixth street. Afterward 
additional ground was purchased just west, and the 
new school building was erected where it is now. 
Since that time there has been an addition which 
doubles the capacity of the structure and gives Ber- 
thoud ample facilities in the school line. 

"The pioneer lumber yard was started in 1886 and 
was purchased the next year by the Fairbairn Lum- 
ber Company, which is still doing business in town. 

"The first newspaper was launched in July, 1890, 
and was known as the Blade, which name was after- 
wards changed to the Berthoud Bulletin. This 
paper has had a rival at times, but it was found that 
the field was too small for two papers, so the rival 
papers were moved elsewhere. 

"The original grain business was commenced by 
F. A. Crane in the building where C. A.. Williams 
now has his garage. As this country has always 
been a great grain producing district the ware- 
house was entirely too small and the wheat in sacks 



would often be piled two or three feet high from the 
depot to Mountain avenue, a distance of three hun- 
dred feet. 

"At no time in its history would this town toler- 
ate a saloon for more than a year at a time. Some- 
times one would be started, but at the next election 
it would be voted out. As water is of prime neces- 
sity the people early, about 1887, put in what was 
known as the Berthoud Ditch and Reservoir water 
works at a cost of $12,000 to supply water for the 
town. Since that there has been expended $33,000, 
making the plant cost $45,000. 

"The sewer system on which the health of the 
town depends was originated in 1900 and is known 
as the public sewer, which starts one mile south of 
town and comes up Second street to Mountain 
avenue, then west to the Presbyterian church. This 
sewer was constructed by J. B. Ware. Since that 
time there has been constructed nine district sewers 
and two sub-sewers. The entire cost of Berthoud's 
sewer system has been $12,000. 

"Among the catastrophes of the early times was 
the fire of the Davis-Hartford Merchandise Com- 
pany, which burned them out entirely, but they re- 
built and are among our most prosperous merchants 
today. The next fire was the burning of a hotel on 
the east side of the railroad track. J. C. Shull con- 
ducted on Third street the pioneer restaurant in the 
town. Uncle Sam first had the mail delivered by 
Lewis Cross in the J. Y. Munson & Company's 
store, while the C. & S. railroad affairs at the depot 
were attended to by L. H. Kelly, one of the towns- 
men. These were some of the pioneers, and from 
their efforts and that of many others the hustling 
town has grown to its present size." 

Churches of Berthoud 

The Presbyterian church was organized in 1884. 
It was the second religious denomination to occupy 
the field in the town of Berthoud, then but four 
years old. The first pastor was Rev. John Wilson, 
and the present pastor is Rev. C. A. Wilson. The 
church has a membership of 85 and the value of 
church property is $6,000. 

Christian Church. — This church was organized 
in 1894 with Rev. E. F. Harris as pastor. The 
name of the present pastor is Rev. M. P. Goody- 
kountz. The membership roll contains the names of 
60 persons, and the church property is valued at 
$3,000. 



[197] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



Methodist Church. — ^Those of the Methodist 
Episcopal faith living in Berthoud and vicinity per- 
fected a church organization in 1902, and Rev. 
Rigdon was assigned to the pastorate by the Colo- 
rado Conference. There are now 70 members in the 
organization and Rev. W. J. Kidd is the present 
pastor. The church property is valued at $7,000. 

Baptist Church. — This denomination perfected a 
church organization in 1904, with Rev. W. H. 
Whittier as its first pastor. There are now 46 
members, and Rev. J. A. Partee ministers to the 
congregation. The value of church property is 
$2,000. 

German Congregational Church. — ^This church 
was organized in 1909. It now numbers 100 
members and the present pastor is Rev. J. H. Eckert. 
The first pastor was Rev. Peter Krejar. The 
church property is valued at $3,000. 

United Brethren Church. — This organization 
was first known as the Little Thompson Mission 
and it was served by Rev. E. J. Lamb. Services 
were first held in the school house in old Berthoud, 
but soon after the completion of the Colorado Cen- 
tral railroad from Denver to Cheyenne, the congre- 
gation met in what is now the town of Berthoud. 
The U. B. is the first and oldest church organiza- 
tion in the Little Thompson valley. The first 
pastor, as appears by the record, was Rev. H. Arch- 
aret, who was appointed June 18, 1875, to take 
charge of the Big Thompson Mission. The present 
pastor is Rev. T. A. Reiser and the membership list 
contains the names of 192 persons. All the depart- 
ments of the church are well organized and doing 
efficient work. 

Banks of Berthoud 

The Berthoud National Bank. — This bank 
opened its doors for business on April 1st, 1892, and 
its nearly twenty years of usefulness has been pro- 
ductive of good results. It was started as a private 
institution by T. C. Bunyan, who is still its ex- 
ecutive head. It was incorporated as a National 
bank on November 16th, 1905, and opened for busi- 
ness as such on January 2nd, 1906. Its capital stock 
is fixed at $50,000 and its circulation amounts to 
$50,000. Its resources at the present time amount 
to $318,290.61, its deposits to $198,587.71, and its 
surplus and profits to $18,897.79. The officers and 
directors of the bank are: President, T. C. Bun- 
yan; Vice-President, Thos. Kerley; Cashier, John 
Bunyan ; Assistant Cashier, J. A. Bunyan. 

National Bank of Berthoud. — ^This bank was 
chartered and opened for business in 1905, with a 

[198] 



full paid capital stock of $25,000, with Guy E. 
Loomis filling the position of cashier. Its resources 
at the present time amount to $74,805.78; its de- 
posits to $40,935.86, and its surplus and profits to 
$3,220.92. The present officers and directors of the 
bank are: President, F. A. Bein; Cashier, Guy E. 
Loomis; L. H. Fagan and L. W. Hendershott. 



Buckhorn Valley 

The Buckhorn creek, from which the valley de- 
rives its name, heads in the foothills about thirty 
miles northwest of Fort Collins, flows a south- 
easterly course and empties into the Big Thompson 
river about eight miles west of Loveland. Before 
the country was settled up, the valley and the range 
of low, grass covered hills bordering the stream, was 
a favorite feeding ground for deer, antelope and 
mountain sheep. The stream no doubt takes its 
name from the numerous horns shed by the males 
of these animals that were scattered up and down the 
valley. In places the stream canons up and at others 
it widens out into grass covered meadows and parks 
and is one of the most beautiful of the small 
streams that flow out from the hills. The fine 
grazing grounds along its banks early attracted the 
attention of stockmen and they were the first to settle 
in the valley, and large herds of cattle were pas- 
tured there in the late 60's and early 70's. The 
land along the stream is now all taken up and occu- 
pied by thrifty farmers, whose well cultivated 
fields and orchards are in striking contrast with 
conditions as they prevailed when the first settlers 
located in the Big Thompson valley. I have been 
unable to learn the name of the first white settler 
in the Buckhorn valley or the date of his settlement. 
B. F. Milner and family probably made one of the 
first settlements, and he is still a resident of the 
valley. He was followed by George Lawrence who 
located on what is now known as the Neville place, 
a Mr. Oliver who lived on the place now owned 
by Samuel Steele, Buck Piatt, S. H. Gransbury, 
and Alex McWhorter settled on the Thompson 
place. John C. Ish with a herd of cattle occupied 
what is now the Henderson place. Other early 
settlers were Joseph McFadden, C. C. Hayes, J. 
B. Fletcher, Hank Steward, William Trowbridge 
and George W. Buffum. These were all stockmen 
and beyond putting up hay, paid but little attention 
to cultivating the soil. Now there are many fine 
farms in the valley with comfortable dwellings and 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



outbuildings, good orchards and other evidences of 
progress and prosperity. Among the most notable 
of these are the farms of J. R. Mason, the Smith 
Brothers and others. C. G. McWhorter has one of 
the finest orchards in the county, from which in 
favorable seasons he derives a good income. He 
has been successful in growing peaches, for which 
he finds a ready home market. 

Masonville is the trading point in the valley. 
Here is established a general store, postoffice, school 
house and other public conveniences. A church was 
erected there last fall and has since been duly dedi- 
cated. There is probably as much intelligence, cult- 
ure, wealth and comfort centered in the Buckhorn 
valley as can be found in the same limited suburban 
area in the State of Colorado. 

Masonville Presbyterian Church 

This church was organized October 10th, 1909, 
by Rev. Franklin Moore, with 20 members, and on 
February 18th, 1911, the corner-stone of an attract- 
ive place of worship was laid with appropriate 
ceremonies. The church building, completed, is 
estimated to cost $2,100. Christian work had been 
carried on in the Buckhorn valley for about 30 
years, beginning with the organization of a Sunday 
school in 1880, with Mrs. Elizabeth Carter as 
Superintendent. The school was conducted several 
years under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, George E. Trowbridge being the local 
preacher. In the meantime the Dunkard denomina- 
tion conducted religious services in J. R. Mason's 
new barn. Rev. T. S. Flag being the preacher. In 
1897 the Methodists temporarily abandoned the 
field and Rev. J. S. King, a Congregationalist, took 
charge of the work. In 1902, Rev. L. J. Lamb, a 
Methodist, served the little flock as pastor until 
death called him hence in 1903. The church was 
then supplied by Rev. L. C. Woodford for six 
months and he was succeeded by Rev. Pearl Symes 
who served the congregation for two years. Rev. 
R. S. Wallace, assistant pastor of the Fort Collins 
Baptist church, preached for the congregation in 
1908. In June, 1909, Rev. Franklin Moore, former 
pastor of the Fossil Creek Presbyterian church, took 
charge of the work at Masonville and in October of 
that year organized a Presbyterian church. The 
congregation now supports a flourishing Sunday 
school and a Christian Endeavor society. The 
officers of the church are Pastor, Rev. Franklin 



Moore; Ruling Elders, C. G. McWhorter, L. A. 
Sheldon and E. O. Smith; Trustees, Chas. Stobbe, 
Frank Nicodemus and J. H. Spence. 



Redstone Valley 

Redstone creek, a tributary of the Buckhorn creek 
and it in turn of the Big Thompson, rises in the 
niountains near Stove Prairie, about twenty miles 
west of Fort Collins. It flows in a southeasterly 
course and empties into the Buckhorn near Mason- 
ville. It derives its name from immense red sand- 
stone cliffs which line its banks for miles and the 
valley takes its name from the stream. In places 
the stream canons up closely and at other places 
the valley widens out into beautiful meadows, parks, 
groves of timber and cultivated fields, affording the 
visitor a variety of charming views and beautiful 
landscape scenes. The drive along the stream for 
ten or twelve miles is one of the most charming in 
the mountains. High, timber-covered hills rise to 
the east and to the west of the valley, whose sum- 
mits range from 7,000 to 7,500 feet above sea level. 
Horsetooth " mountain, seen so plainly from the 
Plains, shows off to much greater advantage when 
seen from its western base, which rests in the Red- 
stone valley. 

In the early days the Redstone valley and the 
grass covered slopes of the hills which encompass it 
on the east and on the west, was the favorite graz- 
ing ground of many herds of cattle and they waxed 
fat on the nutritious grasses found here. Sawmills 
came in later and stripped the hills of merchantable 
timber and hundreds of thousands of feet of pine 
timber were manufactured into lumber and then 
hauled to either the Fort Collins or Loveland 
markets. Here, also, in this secluded vale, a num- 
ber of families built themselves homes and engaged 
in stock raising, lumbering, mining, or timber haul- 
ing. Among the first of these were Ex-Sheriff James 
Sweeney, John Deaver, Adam Blackhurst, Nicholas 
Patterson, Albert Yale, Sam West, Ben Johnson, 
Miss Gloria Norcross, Lewellyn and Frank Bart- 
holf. But few of the original settlers of the valley 
are to be found there today, the most of them hav- 
ing moved either to Loveland or Fort Collins. Miss 
Gloria Norcross, a Virginia lady, who came there 
with her uncle, the late Nicholas Patterson, in 1879, 
has lived there the longest of any one as a continu- 
ous resident. The Redstone valley has been her 
home for 31 years and she has no desire to move 
away or to change her abode. Among the present 



[199] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



residents of the valley are J. C. Brown, Des Ames, 
Bayard Thompson, Miss Norcross, William Night- 
ingale, Sr. and his son William Nightingale, Jr. 
and John Nightingale. William Nightingale, Sr. 
and family located in a beautiful park known as 
Happy Hollow, in 1883, and his brother John and 




HORSETOOTH FALLS 

family settled close by them in 1887. Happy Hol- 
low derives its name from an incident that occurred 
in the early 70's. A party of Eastern tourists camped 
there for several weeks one summer and they were 
so charmed with the surroundings and had such a 
good time that they named the park "Happy Hol- 
low". One among the number was a contributor 
to Harper's Magazine, and he perpetuated the name 
in an illustrated article descriptive of the charms of 

[200] 



"Happy Hollow," that was published in the mag- 
azine. Happy Hollow is reached by wagon road 
from Fort Collins or Loveland over one of the 
pleasantest eighteen-mile drives in the county, and 
it is becoming a favorite mountain vacation resort. 
Scores of people from the valley towns and Plains 
country have found this to be a delightful place in 
which to spend a few weeks in the summer time, 
camping out, gaining rest and storing up strength 
for life's arduous duties at home. 

The whole country in the vicinity of Happy Hol- 
low is mineralized and a great deal of prospecting 
with varying results has been done, and it would 
not be surprising if rich gold, silver and copper 
veins are found here. Indeed, the Nightingales 
have already a mine near their homes that promises 
to become a regular bonanza. 



The Alford District 

What is known as the Alford District embraces a 
section of the mountains lying between Livermore 
on the south and St. Cloud on the north. It is 
watered by three branches of Rabbit creek, which 
head in the hills several miles to the west and north- 
west, and is an excellent stock and dairy region. The 
valleys of the three streams afiEord good meadows 
and considerable tillable land. In the early days it 
was almost inaccessible on account of the high hills 
surrounding it and the difficulty the settlers ex- 
perienced in making roads suitable for travel. In 
the early 80's the county built a good road over 
Calloway hill, since which time the district has be- 
come better known. 

The first settlers in this district were N. C. Al- 
ford who settled on the North branch in 1867, after 
whom the district takes its name, J. W. Calloway, 
John S. Williams, Joseph Harden and his four sons, 
David, Charles, James and M. B. Harden, who 
settled on Middle Rabbit creek at about the same 
time. William Calloway settled on North Rabbit 
in 1867, but later took up and improved what is 
known as the Cradock ranch on the North fork of 
the Poudre. A. R. Milne settled in the valley of 
the North fork above the canon in 1874, and his 
neighbors, D. M. Halligan and family in 1880. H. 
A. Keach located on North Rabbit in 1882. Mr. 
Keach came to Colorado in the 70's, but went back 
to his native state, Vermont, where he married and 
soon after returned to Colorado. In September of 
the present year he sold his ranch and stock and is 
now a resident of Seattle, Washington. Among the 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



later settlers in that district were W. W. Lowery, 
C. R. Bullard, William Stewart, S. H. Birdsall and 
C. R. Salisbury. Mr. Lowery and Mr. Bullard both 
died several years ago. All of these early settlers 
were engaged in stock raising or dairying. 

N. C. Alford was engaged in horse breeding and 
brought from Iowa the first registered Percheron 
stallion ever introduced in the county. He sold his 
ranch and stock to Henry T. Miller in 1880, and 
moved his family to Fort Collins, which city has 
since been his home. 

The Hardens disposed of their holdings on Mid- 
dle Rabbit in 1873 and took up a fine ranch on 
Meadow creek, nearly two miles east of the foot of 
Cherokee hill that year, where they engaged in 
the horse business. Joseph Harden, the father, died 
on this ranch a good many years ago. A postofKce 
was established at Alford along in the 80's, but was 
discontinued about two years ago for the reason that 
no one wanted to be bothered with its duties. The 
settlers now depend upon the Livermore postoffice 
for their mail. 



Early Settlement of the Laramie 
River Valley 

Tamerlane Forrester, one of the first white men 
to locate permanently in that part of the Laramie 
river valley situated in Larimer county, has kindly 
furnished me with the following account of the 
early settlement in that valley : 

"Although one of the old timers in Larimer 
county, I was born in the State of Missouri, where 
I spent the days of my childhood. When quite a 
youth, I moved with my family, to Kansas, where, 
after attaining riper years, I served in various cam- 
paigns against the Cheyennes, Arapahoes and Sioux. 
Later the Indians becoming less hostile and of- 
fensive, I, with the energy and ambition of youth, 
decided to push farther west, and seek my fortune 
in that mountainous country. With that object in 
view I traveled overland as far as California, pass- 
ing through all the perils and hardships that visited 
those early pioneers of this great Western country. 

"The Golden State, however, did not offer me the 
inducements I anticipated, so in 1876, I drifted 
back, and took up my headquarters about fifty-two 
miles northwest of Fort Collins, at a place known 
as Tie Siding, a short distance over the Wyoming 
border. I here spent a year occupied in making 
ties, before I moved to the Laramie river, where, 
with the ■ exception of numerous pleasure trips to 



difEerent parts of the country, I have lived ever 
since. I became a resident of Larimer county in 
the year 1877. 

"During my year's stay in Tie Siding, I made 
many trips to Fort Collins, which was then a small 
town of some hundred and fifty souls. The sur- 
rounding country at the time was given up mostly to 
farming on a small scale, and on account of the small 
population one was acquainted with all the inhabit- 
ants. 

"I have been a regular visitor to Fort Colins ever 
since, in fact not a year has gone by without I have 
enjoyed a short stay there, and strange as it may 
seem, the only individual I remember as having lived 
there in the early days, and who is still a resident, 
is James Sweeney. Jim Sweeney was Sheriff in the 
old days, serving in that capacity for four terms, 
with praiseworthy zeal and efficiency. His well 
deserved popularity was enormous, his friends were 
legion, and his enemies very few. 

"My parents, my three brothers, and my five sis- 
ters took up our abode on the Laramie river in 
1877, in a house, long since destroyed, situated some 
four and a half miles from the Wyoming line near 
Grace creek. After a short time however, we moved 
up the river to one of its tributaries, since known as 
Forrester creek, and the site of my present ranch. 

"Here my mother died in 1884, and my father 
followed her some five years later, both being 
buried in a little private graveyard on one of the 
pretty hills overlooking the river, and within sight 
of their earthly home. After the death of our par- 
ents, the children, one by one drifted elsewhere, 
with the exception of myself. The five girls mar- 
ried, four are still living, Mrs. Peck having died 
at Fort Collins in 1905. Mrs. Falkenstein and 
Mrs. Detro are in Alberta, Canada; Mrs. C. J. 
Sperr and Mrs. Z. Zinn reside in Fort Collins. My 
brothers, C. C. and W. L. Forrester live in Denver, 
Colorado, and A. C. Forrester in Taplen, Idaho. 

"At the time of my arrival on the Laramie river, 
the life, customs and conditions were far difEerent 
from those existing at the present time. The popu- 
lation, which was much greater then, was occupied 
in the cutting, hewing and floating of ties for the U. 
P. railroad. All the way up the different creeks on 
either side of the river were tie camps and the hills 
were dotted with the cabins of the tie makers. Daw- 
son, who had the contract for the U. P. railroad, 
had his headquarters near the junction of the Mc- 
Intyre and Laramie rivers, which in recent years 
has been named Gleneyre. Dawson's headquarters 
ran a commissariat for all the tie makers, and there 



[201] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



could always be found some one with whom to pass 
the time of day. The surrounding hills abounded 
in antelope, elk, and deer and on Dawson's pay roll 
were several paid hunters employed to furnish game 
for the difFerent camps. The ties were gotten out 
during the winter, piled along the river banks, and in 
the spring pushed into the river and floated to Lara- 
mie in drives of from 35,000 to 250,000, taking 
from ten days to three weeks to make their destina- 
tion, according to the flow of water. When Daw- 
son gave up the contract, he was succeeded by Coe 
& Carter, which firm through the able management 
of O. P. Yelton, continued to supply the railroad 
with the necessary ties. Besides the men connected 
with the tie camps, one was frequently meeting with 
jolly, sociable cow-punchers riding for some of the 
big outfits on the Laramie Plains. 

"At one time from 15,000 to 40,000 head of cattle 
ranged on the hills above the river. The feed for 
the stock was far better than now, and looking back 
it seems as if the seasons were more favorable. We 
were not visited with such early frosts in the fall 
and our springs seemed not so late. More snow fell 
in the mountains, but the grass on the sidehills was 
of such a standard that stock could always forage, 
and it was only during the most severe winters that 
there was any material loss of cattle. One could 
find beef fat enough to butcher any time in the 
year, and feeding was unheard of. Irrigation was 
done in a small way for a kitchen garden, and a 
little hay was cut for a few saddle horses or milch 
cows; what since has given way to meadowland, was 
then sage brush and high bunch grass. 

"In the early days, on the Laramie river in Colo- 
rado, the ranchmen started their herds from a few 
milch cows and mavericks, gradually increasing their 
stock, and with the small expense incurred in raising 
cattle at that time, many of the early settlers re- 
tired from business in the course of ten or twelve 
years with an ample competence. 

"In the 70's there were but six ranches on the 
Laramie river from the Wyoming line to its source 
near Chambers Lake, a distance of some thirty odd 
miles. Mr. Bliler's ranch was the first from the 
line; Capt. Hance, who introduced the buck and 
pole fence on the river, was located near Grace 
creek; Wm. Mansfield's cabin and buildings stood 
close to the river between Capt. Hance and the 
Forrester family. A few miles above Forrester 
creek was Hutton's horse ranch at the foot of Horse 
Ranch pass, while some three miles up the river 
from Dawson's headquarters, and about twenty 
miles from its source, Oscar and Kelly Martin 

[202] 



ranched on what is now the property of Mr. A. de 
V. Baldwin. 

"North Park was then as Nature made it, and 
probably one of the finest antelope countries in the 
world, with one sole occupant living in the extreme 
north end, or what is known as the neck of the Park. 
This trapper, prospector and hermit was a man by 
the name of Pinkham, hardy of nature and rustic of 
habit." 

At the present time the Laramie River valley is 
settled all the way from the Capt. T. H. Davy's 
big ranch at the State road crossing clear down to 
the State line, and stock raising and dairying are the 
principal industries of the people. There are two 
postoffices in the valley, one at Capt. Davy's ranch, 
known as Glendevey and the other six miles down 
the river, known as Gleneyre. The Laramie river 
valley is one of the most attractive valleys in the 
state and is a favorite resort for summer tourists, 
who come from all parts of the country to spend a 
few weeks during the heated term. It is the fisher- 
men and hunters' paradise, as the river and its 
affluents abound in native, rainbow and German 
brown trout, and among the adjacent hills may be 
found deer, elk, bear and mountain lion on which 
the sportsman may display his markmanship during 
the open season. , 



St. Cloud 

St. Cloud precinct embraces all of Township 11, 
Ranges 72, 73 and 74; South half of Township 12, 
Ranges 72, 73 and 74 and all of Township 10, 
Range 74. It is mountainous and broken with in- 
tervening parks and small valleys along the streams 
tributary to the North fork of the Cache la Poudre 
river, which crosses the precinct from west to east. 
Portions of it are well timbered. In the late 60's 
and early 70's, thousands of railroad ties and a 
great deal of lumber were cut from its mountain 
sides and hauled by teams to the Union Pacific rail- 
road. In those days the precinct was known as 
Diamond Peak, and the voting place was at a tie 
camp boarding house on Trail creek, its name 
being changed to St. Cloud in the 80's. Joseph 
Harris and Clerin T. Woods were the first per- 
manent white settlers, both locating on stock ranches 
on the North fork, near the mouth of Trail creek 
in 1874. They were followed shortly afterwards 
by C. I. Woods, a brother of C. T. Woods. Mr. 
Harris and C. I. Woods disposed of their holdings 
there in 1880 and moved to Fort Collins, but C. T. 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



Woods continued to live on his ranch, engaged in 
the cattle business, until about ten years ago, 
when he sold to Frank L. Watrous and moved to 
Fort Collins, where he still resides. Mr. Harris 
and Mr. C. I. Woods died several years ago. 

In 1883, Henry T. Miller, having sold the Al- 
ford horse ranch on Rabbit creek, which he pur- 
chased in 1880, bought a preemption relinquishment 
of H. E. Tedmon to the tract of land now owned 
and occupied by William Campton and known as 
the Cherokee Park summer resort. Mr. Miller 
built a house on this tract and occupied it until 1890, 
when he sold the property to Mr. Campton and 
came to Fort Collins, where he still resides. After 
H. E. Tedmon, then State Senator, sold his 
hardware business in Fort Collins to E. R. 
Barkley in 1884, he moved his family to a 
stock ranch situated about a mile up the river 
from the Miller place, where he still resides 
engaged in the cattle business. In 1886 T. J. Mont- 
gomery bought a claim some two miles farther up 
the river and lived there several years caring for a 
herd of cattle. E. R. Barkley and A. C. Kluver 
own stock ranches on Sheep creek, but they have 
never lived there with their families. There are 
also settlers now on the headwaters of Sheep creek. 
One of them, Mr. Wooster, has been there a good 
many years. 

Mr. Miller secured the establishment of a post- 
ofKce at his place to which he gave the name of St. 
Cloud, which it still bears. C. T. Woods was post- 
master at St. Cloud for several years, being suc- 
ceeded by F. L. Watrous and he by Noah Bristol. 
The office is now located at Campton's summer 
resort and Mr. Campton is the postmaster. There 
were thirty votes cast in the precinct in 1908. The 
distance from Fort Collins to St. Cloud is forty 
miles, and in the summer time an automobile stage 
makes tri-weekly trips between the two points for the 
accommodation of mountain tourists. 



Upper Boxelder 



Boxelder creek is formed by several smaller 
streams, notably one rising in Wyoming and another 
in Larimer county. The upper portion of this 
creek runs a clear stream of water, winter and sum- 
mer, but when it comes out on the Plains it sinks in 
the sand to rise again further down and for some 
distance forms a running stream, then again loses 
itself in the sand, making what is called an under- 
flow. The headwaters of this stream afford good 



trout fishing, especially in the pools, and the local- 
ity is a favorite one for picnic parties from Cheyenne 
and the surrounding country. The surface is roll- 
ing with here and there timber covered hills and 
fertile valleys. It is an excellent grazing district 
and large herds of cattle, flocks of sheep and bunches 
of horses feed and fatten on the nutritious grasses 
that abound in the parks and on the hillsides. Isaac 
Adair was the first permanent white settler in Up- 
per Boxelder, locating there in March, 1875. He 
came to Colorado in the 60's and lived for several 
years in Pleasant Valley, near the present town of 
Bellvue, but wishing a wider range for his stock, 
took up a ranch on Upper Boxelder, where he lived 
until he moved to Fort Collins in 1905. Edward 
Adams, who now lives in Montana, came a little 
later. Among the first squatters to locate in Upper 
Boxelder in the early 70's was Hank Wise, but he 
did not remain long. William J. Logan, now of 
Virginia Dale, was the next settler. He was fol- 
lowed a little later by Miss Maggie Williams, 
Henry Held, Mrs. Gooding, Alexander Webster, 
J. M. Autrey and Anthony Barriaut, who was the 
first postmaster. Barriaut was killed in 1886, by 
James Robertson in a quarrel which grew out of 
family trouble concerning a window and door to a 
dance hall. The coroner's jury returned a verdict 
of justifiable homicide. Barriaut was a well edu- 
cated man and was said to have been a lawyer in 
France before he came to the United States. Rob- 
ertson left the country soon afterwards and went 
to Texas, where, it is said, he died with his boots 
on, being killed in a saloon brawl. It is still be- 
lieved by many Upper Boxelder people that the 
killing of Barriaut was a case of murder in the 
second degree. 

E. W. Whitcomb and Oliver Goodwin ranged 
their cattle on Upper Boxelder in the late 60's and 
early 70's, controlling a large range in the foothills 
and on the Plains. Whitcomb lived at that time 
on the ranch later owned by Noah Bristol and now 
owned by the Buckeye Ranch Company. Mr. 
Whitcomb is still living in Cheyenne. One of Fort 
Collins' principal residence streets is named for him. 

The first school in Upper Boxelder was taught in 
1883 by Miss Daisy Runyan. A colony of Mor- 
mons squatted there in 1882 and helped to supply 
pupils for the school. They left shortly afterwards, 
however, some going to Missouri and others to 
Utah. Isaac Adair, the first permanent settler on 
Upper Boxelder, died in Fort Collins in 1907, his 
wife following him to the spirit land two years 
later. 



[203] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Loveland 

The history of the city of Loveland begins with 
the completion, in the fall of 1877, of the Colorado 
Central railroad from Golden to Cheyenne. Just 
prior to that time the site the city occupies was 
covered with growing wheat belonging to David 
Barnes, and the town was not laid out and platted 
until after the wheat had been harvested and re- 
moved. Old St. Louis, situated one mile further 
down the Big Thompson river, was the commercial 
center and distributing point for the entire valley, 
but when lot selling began at Loveland many of 
the buildings were moved from the old town to the 
new, thus forming the nucleus of the present city 
of Loveland. The postoffice was moved from St. 
Louis and the name changed to Loveland. John 
Buchanan was shortly afterwards appointed post- 
master. The beginning of the winter of 1877-8 
found quite a number of dwellings and business 
houses in the new town, and since then Loveland 
has steadily increased in population, in importance 
as a shipping and distributing point, until now it is 
the fourth city on the Colorado & Southern rail- 
road north of Denver, in point of size and the 
amount of business done. It is the center of a very 
rich and quite extensive agricultural and stock 
feeding section and its growth is of a substantial 
character. In 1874 a stage line was established be- 
tween Greeley and Old St. Louis by George W. 
Foote, who abandoned it shortly after the comple- 
tion of the railroad. 

The first newspaper, the Loveland Reporter, was 
issued in June, 1880, by G. N. Udell, who a short 
time afterward sold the plant to Frank A. McClel- 
land, son of the pioneer newspaper editor of Fort 
Collins. The paper has had several different own- 
ers since then, but has always remained true to its 
mission — that of doing all it could to advance the 
material, social and moral interests of its chosen 
home. It is now owned and conducted by Ira O. 
Knapp. 

In the early spring of 1881, upon the petition of 
George W. Krouskop, Dr. Geo. P. Taylor, J. H. 
Oliver, John W. Seaman, John F. Walters, W. S. 
Phipany, N. H. Stevens, B. F. Milner, A. D. 
Fuller, Conrad Kollmer, J. M. Cunningham, M. 
M. Bailey, E. S. Allen, Chas. L. West, Geo. E. 
Roberts, T. T. Roberts, J. M. McCreery, Joseph 
Heukaufer, Dr. W. B. Sutherland, F. M. Mitchell, 
J. W. Ansell, J. B. Harbaugh, J. M. Aldrich, W. 
S. Russell, E. F. Humphrey, William Roper, D. W. 
Sampson, J. J. Burke, W. D. Hemingway, Frank 

[204] 



Harrison, J. T. Wagner, H. Cone, William Rich- 
ardson, Isaac Grewell, Joseph Shellenberger, J. J. 
Youtsey, W. B. Osborn, J. B. Middleton, and J. L. 
Herzinger, Judge Jay H. Bouton of the County 
Court appointed Sherman W. Smith, W. S. Rus- 
sell, John L. Herzinger, W. B. Osborn and J. M. 
Aldrich Commissoners to conduct an election to de- 
termine the wishes of the people concerning incor- 
poration. The election was held April 11, and re- 
sulted in fifty votes being cast for incorporation and 
one vote against it. Then followed an order of the 
County Court incorporating the town. The formal 
organization of the town took place May 11, when 
the following named officers were sworn in and en- 
tered upon their official duties: J. M. Aldrich, 
Mayor; E. S. Allen, Recorder, and W. B. Osborn, 
James Coffield, J. B. Harbaugh and W. S. Rus- 
sell, Trustees. 

Water rights for the town were obtained from 
Francis E. Everett of Golden, and the trees planted 
on every street by David Barnes were taken charge 
of by the municipality. In 1880, Ferguson and 
Harrison built the Loveland Mills, having a 
capacity of 125 sacks of flour per day, and an eleva- 
tor holding 50,000 bushels of grain. The mill and 
elevator were destroyed by fire in 1885, and subse- 
quently rebuilt. In 1885, the town authorities let 
a contract to Swan Brothers to sink an artesian 
well. The well is 2,742 feet in depth, and cost 
about $14,000, the result being a small flow of 
water impregnated with iron and other subtances 
rather unpleasant to the taste. As a means of sup- 
plying the town with good soft, wholesome water, 
the well was a lamentable failure, though the water 
is said to possess excellent medical properties. 

The failure of the well to meet expectations led 
to a demand for a system of water works that would 
afford water for domestic use and fire purposes, and 
on October 11, 1886, an election was held to bond 
the town in a sum sufficient to construct a municipal 
water plant. The proposition carried and a contract 
was entered into with the Michigan Wood Pipe 
Company to construct the plant. The works were 
completed in the spring of 1887 and since then 
Loveland has had an abundant supply of excellent 
water both for domestic use and fire protection. 

Loveland is essentially a city of homes, churches 
and schools. Its private residences are the pride 
and the admiration of its citizens and the surprise 
of strangers. Its churches are large, handsome 
structures, whose pulpits are supplied by able and 
co!-scientious preachers of the gospel, and they are 
well supported ; and the public schools are the equal 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



in point of efficiency and relative standing with the 
best in the state. A thoroughly organized and 
well conducted High school has been maintained 
for about ten years, and its graduates are eligible to 
admission to any of the higher institutions of learn- 
ing in Colorado. Three banks, two national and 
one state, judiciously officered and conservatively 
managed, represent the financial interests of the city 
and surrounding country. The reports of these 
banks, dated March 27, 1910, show in the aggre- 
gate, the prosperous financial condition of the com- 
munity in which they are located, as follows: 

Capital stock 200,000.00 

Resources 1,461,855.92 

Loans and discounts 1,163,730.92 

Deposits 1,018,660.26 

Surplus and undivided profits 91,880.33 

That is a showing of which many larger cities in 
the country could well be proud. 

Loveland supports a thoroughly organized and 
well disciplined and finely equipped fire department, 
under whose efficient direction and management and 
with the aid of an excellent system of water works, 
the losses of property by fire are kept at a minimum, 
and a well officered police force serves to prevent 
crime and turbulence and disorder. Saloons and 
the selling of intoxicating liquors are prohibited 
under the operation of the state local option law, 
and the community is one of the most law abiding 
and God-fearing in the entire country. 

Though situated in one of the best and most pro- 
ductive agricultural regions in the west, Loveland 
is not dependent altogether upon the products of 
the farm, the dairy and the orchard for its prosperity 
and future growth, though these alone would be 
sufficient to foster and support a much larger city. 
Great and important as these resources are and much 
as they have contributed to the growth, importance 
and influence of Loveland, they are not entitled to 
all the credit. Manufacturing, live stock raising 
and stock feeding have been material aids in the up- 
building and maintenance of the city, and will con- 
tinue to be important factors in advancing its future 
growth and prosperity. There is not another city 
in Colorado of the same population and influence 
that has done as much to promote the establishment 
of manufacturing enterprises as Loveland, and no 
other city of the same size can boast of a greater 
number of important productive industries. These 
include a beet sugar factory with a capacity for con- 
verting from 1,200 to 1,500 tons of sugar beets 
every twenty-four hours into the finest granulated 



sugar, employing about 400 men during the sugar 
making season; extensive flouring mills and eleva- 
tors; canning factories for putting up fruits and 
vegetables of commerce, besides numerous other 
smaller manufacturing enterprises. In addition to 
these are two immense plaster mills and the Arkins 
stone quarries, both situated a few miles west of the 
city and are directly tributary to it. The plaster 
mills and the quarries employ a large amount of 
capital and hundreds of men are kept busy the year 
around in producing plaster and in quarrying and 
cutting stone. These industries are so important 
that the railroad company deemed it advisable to 
build a branch line of track from Loveland west 
past the plaster mills to the quarries. Thousands of 
car loads of plaster and stone are annually sent to 
Loveland over this branch road and forwarded by 
the Colorado & Southern Railway to their destina- 
tion. The manufacturing industries are steadily 
growing in importance and are annually adding 
millions of dollars to the trade and commerce of 
Loveland. The city also possesses another great 
advantage. It is the natural market center and 
distributing point for all of the mountain country 
west of it, as far back as the Continental Divide, 
in whose parks and valleys are numerous stock 
ranches, and whose mountain sides furnish tim- 
ber for several saw mills. These mills convert the 
huge pine trees into merchantable lumber, which 
finds a ready market at Loveland. 

Estes Park, the famous Rocky Mountain sum- 
mer resort, where thousands of visitors annually 
spend the heated term amid scenes of unparalleled 
beauty, is only thirty-two miles distant from Love- 
land, the nearest railroad point, and passengers des- 
tined for the Park are whirled through the canon 
of the Big Thompson in large steam propelled 
automobiles which land them at their journey's 
end in two hours and a half. The views presented 
along the route through this wonderful canon are 
sublime beyond comparison and one never tires 
looking at them and admiring the wonderful works 
of Nature. The road follows the stream, crossing 
and re-crossing it a score of times and goes wind- 
ing around past awe-inspiring cliffs and _ walls of 
granite which lift their heads thousands of feet in 
the air, past timber and grass covered slopes and by 
small but beautiful parks, until all at once it opens 
out upon the meadows of Estes Park. A very large 
share of the Park trade comes to Loveland whose 
merchants, with their mammoth store houses, are at 
all times prepared to supply, and nearly all of the 
travel to and from the Park leaves or boards the 

[205] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



trains at this enterprising city. The trade with 
Estes Park and the mountain country, add mater- 
ially to the commercial importance and prosperity 
of Loveland. 

The Colorado Nursery Company, which has the 
largest nursery in the State and which supplies 
fruit, shade and ornamental trees, shrubs and plants 
to nearly all of Colorado, and whose trade amounts 
to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, has its 
home in Loveland and is a leading factor in the 
business life of the city, so that altogether there are 
few communities in the county that have a more 
promising future than the commercial center of the 
Big Thompson valley. 

For the following specific mention of the manu- 
facturing interests of Loveland I am indebted to 
John N. Gordon, secretary of the Chamber of 
Commerce of that city, who has also kindly fur- 
nished data relating to the churches, theatres and to 
the public library, in all of which the people take 
just pride: 

"The Buckhorn Plaster mill, situated six miles 
west of Loveland, was built and established in the 
early 80's by Alfred Wild. It was the first plant in 
the state to produce plaster of paris which, owing 
to its superior quality, is in great demand all over 
the Western country. The plant has been en- 
larged several times until at this time, under the 
management of the Buckhorn Plaster Company, the 
mill is operating with a capacity of 1,200 sacks of 
plaster per day. Owing to the immense quantity 
and superior quality of the gj-psum found in the 
locality and the constantly increasing demand for 
the manufactured product, another mill, having 
a capacity for turning out 1,000 sacks of plaster 
per day, has been erected about one mile west of 
the original plant, which is operated under the same 
management. The gypsum is found in accessible 
ledges and is easily and cheaply quarried, the mills 
and the quarries furnishing employment for a large 
number of men. 

"The Empson Canning factory was built by the 
Empson Packing Company in 1907, with an operat- 
ing capacity, when fully equipped, of 20,000 cans 
per hour, and can handle the crop from 3,000 
acres of peas alone. At present the products of the 
factory are limited to peas and beans, but additions 
will be made as fast as the raw material can be 
secured. The factory furnishes employment to a 
number of operatives during the canning season and 
is the means of distributing a large sum of money 
annually to the farmers and working people. 

[206] 



"The beet sugar factory, the first one to be built 
in Larimer county, was erected in 1901, by the Great 
Western Sugar Company, at a cost of $1,000,000. 
It is capable of extracting the sugar from 1,200 to 
1,500 tons of beets every twenty-four hours, and re- 
quires beets grown on from 10,000 to 12,000 acres 
of land to keep it in operation during the sugar mak- 
ing campaign, which usually lasts about 100 days. 
An average of about 40,000,000 pounds of refined 
sugar is annually produced, requiring the labor of 
about 2,000 field beet workers and 400 men em- 
ployed in the factory while it is in operation. The 
Great Western Sugar Company annually pays out 
more than $1,000,000 for sugar beets and labor. 
The sugar making industry has been of great 
material benefit to the city of Loveland and the 
farming district surrounding it. 

"An electric lighting system was installed in 
Loveland in 1901 by the Loveland Light, Heat and 
Power Company, which was succeeded, in 1907, 
by the Northern Colorado Power Company, which 
transmits the electric fluid from its mammoth power 
plant situated at Lafayette. A sewer system was 
inaugurated in 1903 and now the city is divided 
into nine sanitary sewer districts. 

"The first public place of amusement, known as 
the Bartholf Opera House, was built and opened in 
1884 and it is still used for that purpose. The 
new Loveland theatre was built in 1903 and is 
known as the Majestic Theatre. 

"The Loveland public library was organized in 
1903, with Mrs. A. V. DufEeld as Librarian. In 
1908 Andrew Carnegie donated $10,000 for a 
library building and this was erected on a site 
costing $3,500. The library now contains 2,500 
volumes, which are constantly being added to by 
purchase and donations of new books. The build- 
ing is a handsome one and the interior arrangements 
are nicely adapted to the purpose for which it was 
erected. The present board of directors is composed 
of Mayor J. W. McMuUen, President; B. R. Bon- 
nell, Vice-President; A. V. Benson, Secretary; O. 
H. Egge, J. M. Cunningham and Mrs. J. R. An- 
derson. 

"Not the least among Loveland's list of productive 
industries is that of fruit growing. This industry 
gives pleasant and profitable employment to a large 
number of people — men, women and children — and 
its products add to the health and pleasure of con- 
sumers. The district has raised a variety of fruit 
in a sort of a desultory, haphazard way for the past 
twenty-five years, but not until during the past de- 
cade has much attention been given to raising fruit 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



for commerce. Apples, plums, cherries and all 
kinds of small fruits do especially well, but until 
recent years there were only a few commercial or- 
chards and these were limited to a few acres each. 
They were sufficient, however, to demonstrate that 
the Loveland district was a reliable fruit section and 
that a large and profitable industry could be built up 
in fruit growing. This demonstration served its pur- 
pose and now large commercial orchards, parti- 
cularly of apples and cherries, are being planted and 
it is freely predicted that in a very few years the 
production of apples and cherries will be a leading 
industry in the Big Thompson valley. Loveland's 
special distinction in the fruit line during the past 
fifteen years, has come from the production of 
red raspberries in which, quantity and quality con- 
sidered, it leads all other competitors in the state. 
As high as 30,000 crates of red raspberries have 
been produced in the vicinity of Loveland in a sin- 
gle season. Currants, gooseberries and other small 
fruits are also largely grown in that district. 

"The present officers of the city of Loveland are : 
Mayor, J. W. McMuUen; Aldermen, First Ward, 
A. E. Sprague and W. C. Moore; Second Ward, 
E. O. Hile and O. D. Shields; Third Ward, C. E. 
Clark and Jared Craig; Fourth Ward, H. M. Mc- 
Clure and F. W. Loomis; Attorney, Ab. H. 
Romans; Treasurer, I. G. McCreery; Street Com- 
missioner, O. B. Ford ; Physician, Dr. S. A. Joslyn ; 
Superintendent of Water Works, J. D. Lease; 
Clerk, S. J. Krouskop; Marshal, Luther Hagler; 
Police Magistrate, H. R. Smith; Police Officer, S. 
T. Querry. 

Churches of Loveland 

"The religious orders are represented in Loveland 
by sixteen separate and distinct church organiza- 
tions. These organizations, with two exceptions, 
each have resident pastors and each a place of wor- 
ship ranging in cost from $1,000 to $40,000. They 
have an aggregate membership of 2,650, equal to 
about one-half the entire population of the city. 
The Methodist was the first church organization 
founded in the county. The three charter mem- 
bers of the Methodist church are still living, viz: 
Judge and Mrs. W. B. Osborn of Loveland and 
David Hershman of Boulder." 

The following data relating to the Loveland 
churches, gathered by J. N. Gordon of that city, 
will be of interest not only to the present genera- 
tion but to those that shall succeed the living: 



"First Methodist Episcopal. — Organized in 1866; 
number of members three ; cost of first church build- 
ing $800 ; name of first pastor,Rev. O. P. McMains ; 
church rebuilt in 1887 and in 1901; present value 
of property $25,000; name of present pastor, Rev. 
W. D. Phifer; present number of members 400; 
number in the Sunday school, 290. Special mis- 
sionary work carried on with regular service at the 
Weldon school, eight miles west of town. Rev. 
Antes preached the first sermon in 1863, at which 
the entire population of the Big Thompson valley, 
numbering 13, was present. This was the first 
religous service held in Larimer county. 

"First United Presbyterian. — Organized in 1875, 
with a total of 16 members, cost of first building, 
$1,600; name of first pastor, Rev. W. H. Mc- 
Creery; church rebuilt in 1893 and in 1905 ; present 
value of church property, $40,000; name of present 
pastor. Rev. R. C. Gibson ; present number of mem- 
bers, 374; number in Sunday school, 250. The first 
service of this denomination was held in the old 
Weldon log school house, and the church was or- 
ganized in the Rist school house south of the Big 
Thompson river. 

"First Baptist. — Organized in 1878, with 12 
members ; cost of first building $2,000 ; name of the 
first pastor. Rev. J. C. Cline; church rebuilt in 
1902; present value of property, $15,000; name of 
the present pastor. Rev. L. H. Coffman; present 
number in Sunday school, 250; present number of 
members, 403. 

"United Brethren. — Organized in 1872 with two 
members; cost of first building, $1,500; name of 
first pastor, Rev. E. J. Lamb; church rebuilt in 
1906; present value of church property, $12,000; 
pastorate vacant at- present; present number of 
members 140; number in Sunday school, 90. 

"First Christian. — Organized in 1879; cost of 
building $2,000; name of first pastor. Rev. James 
McMillen; church rebuilt in 1904; present value 
of property, $18,000; name of present pastor, Rev. 
C. L. Dean; number of members, 210; number in 
Sunday school, 200. 

"St John The Evangelist (Catholic) — Organized 
in 1890; name of the first Priest, Rev. Edward 
Downey; present value of property, $10,000; 
name of the present priest. Rev. W. J. Howlett; 
number of members, 150; number in Sunday school, 
85. 

"First German Congregational. — Organized 
November 24th, 1901, with 26 members; name of 
first pastor, Rev. Phillip Bechtel; present value of 
property, $7,000 ; name of present pastor, Rev. John 

[207] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Hoelzer; number of members at the present time, 
174; number in Sunday school, 175. 

"Evangelical Association (German). — Organized 
in 1901 with 25 members; name of first pastor, W. 
Mengedaht; present value of property, $6,000; 
name of present pastor, W. Noerenberg; number of 
members at the present time, 56; number in Sun- 
day school, 85. 

"All Saints Episcopal Mission. — Organized in 
1902 writh 20 members; cost of building $2,500; 
name of first Rector, Rev. Maurice J. Bjrwater, 
Archdeacon of Colorado ; name of present Rector, 
Rev. Edgar Jones; present number of members, 
35. 

"Seventh Day Adventist. — Organized in 1904 
with 12 members; cost of building, $2,000; name 
of first pastor. Rev. Watson Ziegler; pastorate 
vacant; number of members at the present time, 
28 ; number in Sunday school, 45. 

"First Presbyterian. — Organized in 1904 with 26- 
members; Rev. Reuben S. Smith, first pastor; pres- 
ent value of property, $5,000; name of present 
pastor. Rev. Melvin L. Laybourn; present num- 
ber of members, 183; number in Sunday school, 176. 

"Swedish Lutheran. — Organized in 1905 with 
nine members ; name of first pastor, F. O. W. Gus- 
tafson; present value of property, $5,000; name of 
present pastor. Rev. John H. Nelson; present num- 
ber of members, 75; number in Sunday school, 12. 

"Zion Lutheran (German). — Organized March 
8th, 1905; number of members, 300; name of first 
pastor, Rev. F. H. Besel ; present value of property, 
$7,000; name of present pastor. Rev. F. H. Besel; 
present number of members, 300 ; number of mem- 
bers in Sunday school, 75. Special missionary 
work carried on at Johnstown and Evans. 

"German Reformed. — Organized in 1906 with 17 
members; name of first pastor, Rev. Peter Bauer; 
present value of property, $3,500; name of present 
pastor, Rev. C. G. Zips; present number of mem- 
bers, 40. 

"First Free Methodist. — Organized in 1906 with 
1 4 members ; name of first pastor, Rev. James Glaz- 
ier; present value of property, $1,500; name of 
present pastor, Rev. Charles Glazier; present num- 
ber of members, 20; number in Sunday school, 25. 

"German Congregational Zion. — Organized in 
1908 with 40 members; name of first pastor. Rev. 
Phillip Bechtel; present value of property, $3,000; 
name of present pastor, Rev. J. H. Eckhardt; pres- 
ent number of members, 62 ; number in Sunday 
school, 40." 

[208] 



Boxelder Valley and Wellington 

The Boxelder valley extends from where the 
Boxelder creek empties into the Cache la Poudre 
river to the canon where that stream debouches on 
to the Plains, a distance of twenty miles. In places 
the valley proper is from two to three miles in 
width between bluffs narrowing down in other 
places to one-half a mile in width, and the soil is 
rich, very productive and easily worked. The sur- 
face in the main is level and smooth with just 
enough pitch to the south to make irrigation prac- 
ticable and easy. The bluff lands bordering the 
valley are rich and pliable and produce enormous 
crops on the application of water. As the valley and 
bluff lands were, in the early days, supposed to be 
beyond the possibility of ever being brought under 
irrigation, they remained unoccupied, except for 
pasture, for nearly twenty-five years after the set- 
tlements were made along the Cache la Poudre 
river. The Boxelder creek is a small stream, ex- 
cept during flood periods, and soon after the water 
leaves the canon it sinks into the sand to reappear 
miles further down, so that for a greater part of the 
year, it is a dry stream on the surface for several 
miles of its length. Even if it kept up a constant 
flow the year around it would not afford sufficient 
water to irrigate more than a small fraction of the 
land along the border of the stream. 

E. W. Whitcomb, now a resident of Cheyenne, 
was probably the first settler in the valley. He 
located a stock ranch on the creek near the canon in 
1867 or 68, and pastured a large herd of cattle 
and a band of horses on the rich and succulent 
grasses of the valley and adjacent bluffs. Mr. 
Whitcomb sold his ranch in 1875 to Noah Bristol. 
John Arthur established a cattle camp in the valley 
about four miles below the canon in 1861 and con- 
trolled a portion of the range for twelve or fifteen 
years. Lower down, William Brandis established 
a cattle ranch in the 60's where he made his home 
for nearly thirty years. All the rest of this beauti- 
ful valley, except a few farms near the mouth of 
the stream, remained unoccupied by settlers until 
about 1880. In 1879, Benjamin H. Eaton and his 
associates began construction work on what is known 
as the Larimer and Weld Canal. This canal tapped 
the river about two miles northwest of Fort Collins 
and is one of the largest irrigating canals in North- 
ern Colorado. It has an appropriation of 720 
cubic feet of water per second, and is about seventy 
miles in length, extending down into Weld count>' 
for a long distance. It carries water out on to the 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



bluff lands and covers many thousand acres of fine 
farm lands. Soon after the project was gotten 
under way, all the lands in the Boxelder valley that 
could be irrigated from it were taken up and oc- 
cupied by thrifty farmers who brought them under 
cultivation, producing a wonderful change in the 
face of the country. 

In 1881, F. C. Avery, N. C. Alford and their 
associates organized the Larimer County Ditch 
company for the purpose of constructing what is 
known as the Larimer County Canal. This canal 
takes its water from the north side of the river, a 
short distance below the canon, and, keeping on 
grade, carries it far out on to the bluff lands some 
three or four miles north of the Larimer and Weld 
canal, which it parallels, and thence on east into 
Weld county. It is nearly 100 miles in length and 
furnishes water to irrigate between, 30,000 and 
40,000 acres of very productive land. It has an 
appropriation of approximately 500 cubic feet of 
water per second and by reason of its mountain 
feeders, which bring water from the Grand and 
Laramie water sheds, and its extensive system of 
reservoirs, is conceded to be the best irrigation sys- 
tem in Northern Colorado. It covers a large body 
of land in the Boxelder valley lying north of the 
Larimer and Weld canal, and the land was taken 
up and occupied by settlers soon after construction 
work was started on the canal. But there still 
remained a large body of excellent farm land in the 
Boxelder valley lying north of the Larimer County 
canal and which could not be watered from it. 

The subject of putting water on these lands and 
bringing them under cultivation engrossed the 
serious thought and consideration of Fort Collins 
people for several years and as early as 1878 a com- 
pany composed of John C. Abbott, W. C. Stover 
and John C. Matthews was formed for the purpose 
of making a survey for a ditch from the canon of the 
North Fork out among the hills on to the Plains. 
The survey was made and the project was demon- 
strated to be a feasible one, but being unable to 
enlist sufficient capital to put through the enter- 
prise, nothing further was done at that time. Three 
years later, in the spring of 1881, Francis L. Car- 
ter-Cotton and his associates organized the North 
Fork Ditch Company, having for its object the con- 
struction of a ditch and system of reservoirs by 
means of which these lands could be irrigated. Mr. 
Carter-Cotton succeeded in enlisting the co-opera- 
tion of what was known as the English Company 
with large capital, and the work of building the 
ditch was started. The company bought up or 



contracted to buy all the railroad lands in the dis- 
trict sought to be irrigated, some 16,000 acres. 
These lands laid in the odd numbered sections and 
were a part of the Union Pacific land grant. As 
soon as the work on the ditch had gotten well under 
headway, settlers came in and took up the govern- 
ment land. Among these first settlers were Joseph 
Mefford, S. R. Wasson, Harvey Caverly, John 
Gray, C. Goodrich, George Jameson, R. Q. Tenney, 
P. G. Terry, James W. McGinley, John Cameron, 
J. L. Smith, V. Demmel, Gustave Wich, William 
Fertig, Frank Haeckel, John Jones, John Mc- 
Millan, M. Durand, John Bee, A. K. Morse, 
Phillip Lariviere, Eugene Kerr, I. N. Thomas, I. 
B. Harris and others whose names have escaped 
me. They built houses, fenced their tracts and 
otherwise improved them, expecting to be supplied 
with water from the ditch for irrigation. The 
ditch was completed to Boxelder creek in 1884, but 
being decreed a late water appropriation, the ditch 
company could only draw water from the river 
during flood time when there was more than enough 
to supply all of the older ditches. The settlers did 
not get any water for their crops that year. They 
fared but little better in 1885-6, and the result was 
the crops burned up and the farmers denied a har- 
vest and many of them became discouraged and 
abandoned their farms. The construction of the 
ditch was costing so much more than the original 
estimates that the English Company, which had 
been furnishing the capital, surrendered its inter- 
ests in the project to the Travelers' Insurance Com- 
pany, which owned and controlled the enterprise 
for several years. Mr. Carter-Cotton abandoned 
the enterprise in 1886 and left the country. While 
owned by the Travelers' Insurance Company, it 
was able, now and then a year, to fill some of the 
reservoirs connected with the ditch system from 
which a few farmers drew sufficient water to irri- 
gate and produce a crop, but, as a whole, the ditch 
proposition was a lamentable financial failure, so 
far as the company and most of the farmers in the 
Boxelder valley were concerned. 

In the spring of 1901, the North Fork ditch, 
reservoirs, rights of way, lands and franchise passed 
by purchase into the possession of the North Poudre 
Irrigation Company, a strong combination of farm- 
ers, business men and capitalists, who at once set 
about improving the property by enlarging and put- 
ting the ditch in thorough repair, constructing new 
reservoirs and increasing the capacity of the old 
ones. This involved the expenditure of a large sum 
of money, but the changes and improvements re- 

[209] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



suited in bringing the company's irrigation system 
up to a high state of efficiency, so that in the spring 
of 1902, the company was in position to supply 
water for irrigation to a greatly increased area of 
choice tillable land. That year the Fossil Creek 
reservoir, holding 550,000,000 cubic feet of water, 
was built and filled that fall and the following 
spring. Not a drop of the water stored in this 
reservoir could be applied to any of the Boxelder 
valley land, but by a system of exchange through 
which ditches in Weld county with old appropria- 
tions were supplied from the reservoir, the North 
Poudre company was given the right to take an 
equal quantity into its ditch from the river and 
apply it to lands under its ditch. The water thus 
acquired through exchange was utilized for direct 
irrigation of Boxelder lands and for filling reservoirs 
that could be drawn upon to supplement the supply 
from the ditch as the stored water was needed. The 
enterprise and energy shown by the North Poudre 
company soon attracted the attention of settlers 
and during the following year all of the govern- 
ment lands were taken up and occupied and the 
company had sold nearly all of its land, so that at 
the opening of 1904, there was a family on almost 
every quarter section in the valley, and during that 
year there were under cultivation nearly 30,000 
acres of land. The ditch and reservoirs of the 
company were able to supply all of these new farms 
with water for irrigation and domestic use and the 
farmers began to raise good crops of grain, beets 
and alfalfa, and were prosperous. At the present 
time the Boxelder valley is recognized as among the 
best and most productive farming and stock feed- 
ing regions of Colorado. The moving spirit in the 
reclamation and upbuilding of the Boxelder valley 
was Francis C. Grable, to whose enthusiasm, 
wise foresight and resistless energy is due the most 
credit for the great work accomplished. 

The town of Wellington, situated in the heart 
of the Boxelder farming district, was founded in 
the winter of 1902 and at once took on surprising 
growth. The inhabitants were mainly from Kansas, 
Iowa and Nebraska, intelligent, thrifty and enter- 
prising and took a great deal of pride in the town. 
It now boasts of a population of about 500 with 
almost every line of business represented. Its streets 
are broad, clean and well kept, being paved with 
gravel. Its numerous pretty homes, substantial 
business blocks, churches, fine school house, bank, 
hotels, elevator, telephone exchange, town hall and 
public assembly room and other up-to-date public 
conveniences, including a weekly newspaper and 

[210] 



municipal water works system, all bear the im- 
press of stability, showing that the people are pros- 
perous, happy and contented. In 1903 the Colo- 
rado & Southern Railroad company extended its 
line of track from Fort Collins to Wellington, a 
distance of twelve miles, and from that town north- 
west to the town of Waverly, a distance of five 
miles, over which two daily passenger trains are oper- 
ated. The town is incorporated and has its mayor, 
board of trustees, clerk, fire department and full set 
of town officials, public park, sidewalks, etc. Thou- 
sands of fruit and shade trees were early set out so 
that the town is now nearly hidden by trees and 
foliage in the summer season. The Denver, Lara- 
mie & Northwestern railroad, now in course of con- 
struction, will pass through the town, making it a 
junction point. Wellington is already an import- 
ant shipping point and thousands of car loads of 
grain, live stock, sugar beets, potatoes, etc., are sent 
away from the town every year, and it is the supply 
and distributing point for a large extent of country. 
All this has been accomplished during the past 
eight years through the development of the North 
Poudre Irrigation company's system of ditches and 
reservoirs, by means of which an extensive body of 
splendid farming land has been brought under ■ 
cultivation. In 1908 the number of votes cast at 
Wellington was 321, all of the voters being residents 
of the Boxelder valley. 

Churches of Wellington 

First Methodist Church — This church was or- 
ganized in December, 1904, with a class of 22, and 
Rev. G. A. Spence was assigned as the first pastor. 
A building for church purposes was erected in the 
summer of 1905, and the present value of church 
property is $6,000. Rev. Robert Titmarsh is now 
serving the congregation. The membership has 
largely increased and there are 100 children enrolled 
in the Sunday school. 

First Congregational Church— Rev. Horace 
Sanderson organized this congregation of 22 mem- 
bers on September 18th, 1904. Rev. Arthur Mor- 
rison was the firsj pastor, being called September 
25th. A place of worship was completed in March, 
1905, and the present value of church property is 
placed at $5,500. The membership roll now con- 
tains the names of 58 persons, and Rev. Ernest 
Jones is the pastor. A Sunday school was organized 
on May 28th, 1905, and there are now 78 pupils. 

First Baptist Church — This congregation was 
organized on June 11th, 1905, with 15 members, 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



and Rev. George W. D. Dixon was the first pastor. 
In the summer of 1907, a house of worship was 
built and the present value of church property is 
$3,500. The membership has increased to 33, and 
Rev. J. J. Earp is the present pastor. There are 25 
children enrolled in the Sunday school. The 
church has been closed for the past two years, but 
about two months ago a pastor was called and the 
congregation is being reorganized. 

Christ (German) Congregational Church — This 
church was organized in the spring of 1905, with 
Rev. Paul Burkhardt as pastor. A house of wor- 
ship was built that summer and the present value 
of church property is estimated at $1,500. 

Wellington's Bank 

The First National bank of Wellington was 
organized June 12th, 1905, with a capital stock of 
$40,000. Its resources amounted to $169,882.64 in 
November, 1910; its deposits to $65,481.08 and its 
surplus and undivided profits to $4,917.41. The 
bank serves a rich and growing agricultural and 
stock feeding district in a town of about 500 in- 
habitants, which was founded in 1902. The pres- 
ent officers and directors are: President, P. Ander- 
son; Vice-President, F. M. Wright; Cashier, John 
S. Cusack; Assistant Cashier, Miss A. B. Wilson; 
C. Cusack, C. R. Geith. 



Stove Prairie 

Stove Prairie was the name given in the early 
60's to a beautiful little park situated in the Front 
range of mountains about twenty-five miles west 
of Fort Collins. The name originated in the fol- 
lowing manner: Two prospectors traveled up 
Buckhorn creek in search of placer ground and 
finally wandered into a grass covered meadow, be- 
lieving themselves to be its discoverers and the first 
white men to step foot within its borders. Their 
felicitations were short lived, however. They had 
not completed their explorations ere they came upon 
an abandoned camp in which the former occupant 
had left his camp stove. From this circumstance 
originated the name "Stove Prairie". 

The first white settler in Stove Prairie was a man 
named Williams of Greeley, who about 1875, es- 
tablished a horse camp and pastured a band of 
horses there for several years. He built a cabin at 
the foot of the hill near the entrance and made his 
home there while looking after his horses. He was 



followed a little later by a Mr. Ripperdam with a 
hunch of cattle. Then came Charles Havens who 
took up the place now owned by Thomas Morgan, 
and J. W. Rutherford who settled upon the place 
now owned by Harlan Bosworth. A man named 
Beals first located the Harlan Bosworth place. The 
Graham brothers, Mat and Al, settled there along in 
the 80's. Mat was found dead in his cabin at the 
foot of Stove Prairie gulch a few years later, and 
Al is now an inmate of the State insane asylum. 
Other settlers on Stove Prairie were Jehiel Shull, 
Wm. P. Bosworth, the Hollemans, Henry Mc- 
Ginness. A school district was organized in 1893 
and a comfortable and well furnished log school 
house was built in 1894. 

The Stove Prairie country is essentially a stock 
region and nearly all of the settlers own herds of 
cattle. It is too high for general farming, only 
coarse grains for stock food and potatoes and hardy 
vegetables are grown. The hills about the park 
are covered with timber and in the early days saw 
mills cut a great deal of lumber in that vicinity. 

The foot of Stove Prairie gulch offers fine camp- 
ing grounds for fishermen and picnic parties and not 
a summer passes that the banks of the river at that 
point are not alive with camping parties. The 
river for a few miles above and below the mouth 
of the gulch is the trout fisherman's paradise. 

The Utes in their forays on their hereditary 
enemies, the Cheyennes and Arapahoes and later on 
the white settlers in the Big Thompson, used to 
come down from North Park over Ute Pass and 
thence down Huleatt and up Stove Prairie gulches 
and across Stove Prairie park to the Buckhorn 
creek, down which they traveled to the Big Thomp- 
son valley. In places their trail was worn down 
into the soil several inches and its outlines are still 
visible. 

Fort Collins 

Fort Collins, the county seat and principal town 
in Larimer county, owes its origin and final place 
on the map to the intervention of a flood in the 
Cache la Poudre river. This flood occurred on the 
last days of May and first days of June, 1864, and 
is said to have been the worst known by white men. 
The water poured out of the banks of the stream 
and inundated the valley from bluff to bluff with a 
torrent that carried everything not firmly attached 
to the soil with it. It carried out the toll bridge 
at Laporte at a time when the movement of emi- 
gration westward was the heaviest, and more than 



[211] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



200 emigrant wagons were stalled on the bluffs 
south of Laporte, being unable to ford the stream 
because of high water. The Overland stages could 
not make their regular trips for several days, and 
as a result many travelers east and west bound, 
were flood held at Laporte. On the first appearance 
of the flood and after the bridge had been washed 
away, John B. Provost sent to Denver for a heavy 
cable and, constructing a rude flat boat, estab- 
lished a ferry across the stream at his place. The 
stages and emigrant wagons were taken across on 
this flat boat and proceeded on their way. The 
charge for ferrying a team and wagon across the 
river was $10 and for a few days Mr. Provost did 
a thriving business, making money hand over fist, as 
the saying is. The river was turbulent and un- 
safe to ford through almost the entire month of 
June and Mr. Provost used to say afterwards that 
"it was the biggest month's work he ever did." 

In the fall of 1863, Company B of the First 
Colorado Volunteer Cavalry was sent to Laporte to 
patrol the Overland stage line and guard and pro- 
tect the coaches and emigrant trains from Indian 
raids and attacks, also to protect the lives and 
property of the few settlers in the valley at that 
time from the thieving and murderous savages who 
were making a great deal of trouble on the Plains. 
The soldiers established their encampment on the 
bottom lands near the river on Antoine Janis' 
claim a short distance up the stream from the pres- 
ent village of Laporte. The land on which the 
soldiers camped later passed into the ownership of 
Tobias Miller, who sold it to Joseph Hammerly, 
the present occupant. Log cabins for the officers 
and men and stables for the horses were built that 
fall and Company B remained here through the 
winter. In April, 1864, General Schofield, com- 
manding the Department of the Missouri, ordered 
Colonel Chivington of the First Colorado to send 
four companies of his regiment to proceed west on 
the Overland stage line as far as Fort Bridger and 
co-operate with General Connor's forces in a cam- 
paign against the Indians, which were becoming 
very troublesome, threatening to break up the 
Overland mail and make the emigrant road im- 
passable. Colonel Chivington ordered Major Wyn- 
koop to proceed west to the aid of General Connor 
and to have Captain Logan of Company B join him 
with his troop at Laporte. On arriving at Laporte 
Major Wynkoop found that Captain Logan's 
troop was poorly mounted and indifferently armed, 
consequently there was considerable delay before 
the soldiers were ready to march westward. This 

[212] 



delay resulted in giving the Southern Utes an op- 
portunity to attack the Overland stage on the 
Laramie Plains. On the 5th of July, these Indians 
raided the stage company's station at Cooper Creek 
and ran off all the stock, and the same night they 
visited Medicine Bow station and carried away all 
the provisions and stripped the keepers of the sta- 
tion, Hazzard and NichoUs, of their clothing. 

In the meantime Lieut. Col. W. O. Collins of 
the 11th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, commanding the 
post at Fort Laramie, was ordered to send two 
companies of his regiment to take the place of the 
Colorado troops sent to join General Connor's 
forces at Fort Bridger. Companies B and F of 
the Ohio troops in command of Capt. William H. 
Evans, were sent to Laporte in pursuance of this 
order, arriving the latter part of May, 1864. The 
camp or post, which before this had no distinction, 
was christened Camp Collins in honor of Lieut. 
Col. W. O. Collins. A portion of Capt. Evan's 
troops occupied the cabins left by the Colorado 
soldiers and the remainder lived in tents. 

Laporte at the time was the county seat of 
Larimer county, a station on the Overland 
stage line and the most important trading 
and distributing point north of Denver. Quite a 
large settlement of white people had centered there 
and nearly all lines of business were represented. 
The duty of the Ohio troops was the same as that 
performed by the Colorado soldiers, the patroling 
and guarding the Overland stage line and protect- 
ing emigrants and settlers from Indian depredations. 
It was because the Indians had become more dar- 
ing and more troublesome with the opening of the 
spring and their raids and depredations more fre- 
quent, that General Schofield, commander of the 
department, deemed it wise in the interest of 
safety, to send two companies of cavalry here at 
that time to take the place of the one company of 
Colorado troops. The new comers found plenty 
to do and none of them ate the bread of idleness 
that summer. They were required to patrol the 
stage line and escort the coaches and emigrant 
trains every day from Laporte to Virginia Dale; 
were detailed on detached duty at Fremont's 
Orchard, Latham, Camp Mitchell, Big Laramie 
station. Cooper creek. Willow Springs and Vir- 
ginia Dale. 

A great body of snow fell in the mountains in 
the winter of 1863-4, filling the gulches and ravines 
to the depth of several feet, and the snow was from 
four to six feet deep in the timber on the hillsides. 
From the barren mountain tops above timber line 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



the snow had blown off into the timber, gulches 
and ravines where it became packed and as hard 
as an ice-bed, almost. The foothills near the Plains 
were covered with a heavy growth of timber which 
held the snow in place, preventing it from drifting, 
so that back in the hills there was an immense quan- 
tity of water making material. 

"The summer of 1863," says Gen. Frank Hall in 
his History of Colorado, "was marked by a pro- 
tracted drouth which dried up the smaller streams, 
and prevented the growth of crops in the limited 
area then cultivated. Earlier than usual, about the 
middle of October, one of the severest winters ever 
known in this latitude set in, with frequent heavj 
snows and very cold weather. Those who had 
stock on the range lost it, supply trains were block- 
aded, and many abandoned. It seemed impossible 
to maintain any sort of communication with the 
States. The stages, under ordinary circumstances 
would push through when it was possible for any 
living force to face the bitter blasts, were delayed; 
the drivers, bewildered and lost in the furious wind- 
blown snows, wandered about wildly on the track- 
less prairies." 

In the spring of 1864, under the influence of the 
sun's warm rays the great masses of snow melted 
on the foothills and torrents of water came pouring 
down from the slopes into the channel of the Cache 
la Poudre, swelling the stream even with its banks. 
On the 9th of June, an extraordinary rain storm set 
in on the water shed of the upper part of the river, 
melted the snow in the higher altitudes and an 
enormous volume of water laden with drift-wood, 
poured into the already swollen channel, and the 
sullen roar of the rushing stream as it burst out of 
the canon was heard for a long distance. On reach- 
ing the Plains, the water spread out and sub- 
merged the bottom lands from bluff to bluff, to a 
depth of several feet. The storm occurred in the 
afternoon and the raging torrent, plunging like the 
waves of the sea under the impulse of a gale, swept 
down through the soldier's camp in the night al- 
most without warning. Tents, clothing, accoutre- 
ments, ordinance and ordinance stores and some of 
the cabins were carried away and the soldiers, 
awakened from sleep, fled for their lives to the near- 
est bluff. Some of them sleeping in the cabins and 
unable to open the doors because of the pressure of 
water against them, crawled out through chimneys 
and jumping from the roof into the water, waded 
to dry land. The poor fellows were in a sorry 
plight the remainder of the night without shelter 
and many of them with only the clothes they slept 



in to protect them from the chilling rain which was 
still falling. When morning broke a scene of deso- 
lation presented itself to view. The camp grounds 
were completely submerged and only the roofs of 
cabins that had withstood the on-rush of water were 
visible, while as far as the eye could reach up and 
down the river nothing but a surging sea of 
muddy water could be seen. Fortunately no 
lives were lost, but there were several narrow 
escapes by the settlers on the bottom lands. In 
Laporte all the cellars and floors of the buildings 
were deluged, and the inhabitants had to seek higher 
ground. Several lost everything they possessed. 

The storm which brought on the flood in the 
Cache la Poudre was general in the northern part 
of the Territory and Denver, the Boulder, St. 
Vrain and Big Thompson valleys suffered severely 
from its effects. Great waves of muddy water 
came down Cherry creek and poured over and sub- 
merged West Denver, doing a vast amount of dam- 
age. Among the buildings which were wholly de- 
stroyed and carried in fragments down the Platte 
river were the Methodist church, the office of the 
Rocky Mountain News and the City Hall. Por- 
tions of the heavy machinery of the News office 
were carried down the river and never recovered. 
The low lands in the Big Thompson valley were 
submerged, settlers' cabins were washed away and 
gardens and meadows destroyed. 

Soon after the storm ceased and the sun came out 
from behind the clouds, the waters began to recede 
and it was not long until they had fallen back to 
the channel, leaving the bottom lands uncovered. 
The channel ran bank full, however, through a good 
part of the month of June. A report of the disaster 
that had overtaken the soldiers was sent to Col. 
Collins at Fort Laramie, and he directed Capt. 
Evans, commander of the post, to look up a new 
location for the camp, one that would be beyond 
danger of floods in the future. Capt. Evans sent 
Lieut. James W. Hanna with a detail of soldiers 
down the river in the month of July in search of the 
desired location. The party followed the river on the 
north side down to the mouth of Boxelder creek, 
forded the stream there and returned to camp via 
the south side of the stream, fording again at La- 
porte. In coming up the south side of the river 
they met Joseph Mason, who then lived on the 
place so long owned and occupied by the late Wil- 
liam F. Watrous. Mr. Mason called Lieut. 
Hanna's attention to the site now occupied by the 
city of Fort Collins, and describing its advantages, 
urged a favorable report of the ground to Col. 



[213] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Collins. This Lieut. Hanna promised to do. He 
kept his promise and sent through Capt Evans, a 
flattering description of the site, giving its prox- 
imity to the river, situation on the high dry land 
vi'ith good drainage and a fine view of the surround- 
ing country for miles in each direction. One great 
objection to the old camp grounds at Laporte, in 
addition to its liability to be flooded in times of high 
water, was that it was hemmed in by bluffs and hog 
backs so that the view was restricted in each direc- 
tion, making it possible for Indians to swoop down 
upon the camp unseen and run off the troopers' 
horses. 

At the time Lieut. Hanna made his survey there 
was not a house nor even a cabin on the south side 
of the river from Joseph Mason's home to the Sher- 
wood place, a distance of about five miles, and thou- 
sands of prairie dogs had possession of the site se- 
lected for the new camp. Soon after receiving 
Lieut. Hanna's report, Col. Collins left Fort Lara- 
mie with a guard of soldiers, for Camp Collins for 
the purpose of a personal inspection of the location 
recommended. He arrived at Laporte on the 13th 
of August. He remained there a week, leaving on 
on the return to Fort Laramie via Fort Halleck, 
August 21st. On the way down from Fort Lara- 
mie, Col. Collins kept a daily journal noting num- 
ber of miles traveled each day, the stopping places 
at night and describing the character of the country 
and the road traversed. At the request of Mr. 
Francis C. Grable of Fort Collins, Mrs. Catherine 
W. Collins, widow of Col. Collins, sent him from 
her home in Hillsboro, Ohio, this jdurnal and 
several other papers of historical value, which have, 
with Mrs. Collins' consent, been presented to the 
Association of Pioneer Women of the Cache la 
Poudre valley for preservation. The list of papers 
include : 

A pen map made of Camp Collins ; 
Autograph letter of Col. Collins ; 
Journal ; 

Circular of the Overland Stage Company; 
Photograph of Col. Collins and Mrs. Collins' 
letter of transmission. 

The journal sent by Mrs. Collins is endorsed in 
Col. Collins' handwriting as follows : 

"Journal of trip to Camp Collins from Fort 
Laramie, August 8th to August 13th, 1864." 

It enters into details concerning roads, grass, 
water and wood. No doubt such a record was re- 
quired by the army regulations in those early days 
so that all movements of troops might be made 

[214] 



along the best routes. The record of the last two 
days' travel is herewith copied : 

"Friday, August 12th, left camp about 6 a. m. ; 
road hilly and circuitous, water in one or two small 
branches, especially on Little Crow creek. A few 
miles from camp where party with prisoners from 
Camp Collins had camped last night; met them two 
or three miles from our camp. Road thence broken, 
circuitous and latter part muddy to Jack Springs, 
when stopped for noon; distance about twenty-two 
miles. Road generally good; no wood or water. 
Grasshoppers appeared in swarms as we left camp. 
Camped for night on Boxelder. Fine running 
stream, plenty of flood wood, good grass; distance 
fourteen miles. Total 36 miles in day." 

"Saturday, August 13th, left camp' at 7 o'clock; 
got to Camp Collins on Cache la Poudre about 11 
o'clock. Road good but no water or wood, but 
grass plenty. Cache la Poudre fine stream coming 
out of mountains just above camp; distance about 
fourteen miles. Summary: 

From Fort Laramie to Cherry Springs ... 24 miles 

Camp on Chug 30 miles 

Camp on Horse creek 30 miles 

Camp on Crow creek 20 miles 

Camp on Boxelder 36 miles 

Camp Collins 14 miles 

Total 154 miles 

While at old Camp Collins, Col. Collins inspected 
the new site for a post, the condition of the troops 
and his report of the way he found things and what 
he did is embodied in a report to General R. B. 
Mitchell, commanding the district of Nebraska, 
which follows : 

"Hd. Qrs. 11th O. V. C. in the Field at Camp 
Collins, Colo. Ter., Aug 21st, 1864. 
"To Gen. R. B. Mitchell, 

Comdg. Dist. of Nebraska. 

"I respectfully report that I have arrived at this 
Post, on the 14th inst. Found companies B and F 
11th O. V. C. stationed here partly in quarters upon 
detached service, health of the troops excellent and 
the discipline creditable to officers and men. 

"On careful examination and inquiry, I became 
satisfied that the good of the service required a 
change in the location of the post. The present site 
is within the town of Laporte, where the claims of 
lot holders seriously interfere with military inter- 
ests, the ground is subject to overflow, the whole 
having been under water and much public property 



HISTORY 



O F 



LARIMER COUNTY, 



COLORADO 



destroyed about the 10th of June last, and the space 
being too contracted for military purposes. 

"I therefore determined to select new grounds 
in the vicinity and fortunately was able to find a 
locality having superior advantages in the way of 
wood, water and grass without danger of overflow 




LIEUT.-COL. WM. 0. COLLINS 

and where sufficient territory could be obtained 
without interfering with the claims of any citizens. 
"I enclose a copy of an order appropriating the 
ground and directing the removal of the troops and 
stores to the same and respectfully ask its approval. 
This post is likely to be an important one and I 
find a contract for the delivery of 2,000 tons of hay 
by the order of the Quartermaster of the Depart- 
ment which indicates an intention to winter a large 
number of troops and stock in the vicinity. The 
great alarm existing from attacks made and threat- 
ened by the Indians seemed to make it proper that 
I should visit Denver to consult with the authori- 
ties, and I made a hasty trip to that place, being 
absent from this post but three days. I found 
martial law proclaimed, business suspended and 
a regiment of volunteers rapidly raising which is 
to take the field in a few days. Its destination 
is the valley of the South Platte and the coun- 
try south towards the waters of the Republi- 
can and Arkansas, where the Cheyennes, Kiowas, 
Apaches and other Indians have recently been 
committing serious outrages and depredations. 
No part of these volunteer forces will prob- 
ably go north of the valley of the South Platte. 



There is a considerable number of Arapahoes in 
the neighborhood of this post, but they profess 
friendship and as yet have committed no acts of 
hostility. Several parties of Utes have recently 
crossed the Overland stage road west of this post, 
going north to 'look for Sioux' as they say, but who 
protest they will harm no white men. Gov. Evans 
and Maj. Whiting (Indian Agent) assure me they 
have full confidence in their professions, and sug- 
gest that they be permitted to make war upon the 
Cheyennes and Arapahoes and Sioux who are their 
hereditary enemies. At this time all the Indians 
need watching and I shall care that they are care- 
fully observed. Capt. Evans' Company F, com- 
manding the two companies stationed at this post, 
is ordered to hold them in readiness to pursue 
Indians at any moment and detachments are con- 
stantly out scouting, escorting and garrisoning 
points supposed to be liable to attack. Most of the 
settlers on Cache la Poudre river, Thompson and 
other streams are abandoning their ranches and 
gathering into this post for protection. I think 
much of the alarm unnecessary and hope the panic 




MRS. WM. O. COLLINS 

will soon subside. I am about starting for Fort 
Halleck from which post I will communicate with 
you. Very respectfully your obdt. sevt, 

"Wm. O. Collins, Lt.-CoL, 
"Comd'g 11th O. V. C." 

The date of the foregoing report corresponds 
with the date of the birth of Fort Collins, for on 
that date Col. Collins issued an order appropriating 
the ground for military purposes and directing the 

[215] 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



removal of the troops and stores to the new Camp 
Collins, although it does not appear that any of the 
soldiers occupied the new site until a few days 
later. The active work of constructing the new 
camp was immediately begun, however, by sending 
men into the hills to cut and prepare timbers for 
quarters for the officers and men and for the stables. 
Col. Collins had, on his first visit, directed that a 
military reservation four miles square be set off 
and that a description, giving metes and bounds, be 
sent to the war department at Washington for 
approval. On the 12th of November the acting 
Secretary of the Interior addressed the following 
letter to President Lincoln, recommending the es- 
tablishment of the reservation : 

"Department of the Interior, 
"Washington, D. C, Nov. 12, 1864. 
"Sir:— 

"I have the honor to recommend that a reserva- 
tion for military purposes be made of a tract of 
land situated in township number 7, north range 
69 west, in the territory of Colorado, and described 
as follows: 

"Beginning in the center of the main channel of 
the Cache la Poudre river where the east line of 
the claim of Joseph Mason crosses the same, thence 
south four miles, thence east four miles, thence 
north about four miles to the center of the main 
channel of the Cache la Poudre, thence with the 
center of the main channel of the said river follow- 
ing its meanderings' to the place of beginning. 

"The letter of the Secretary of War of the 3rd 
and the report of the Commissioners of the General 
Land Office of the 12th inst. relative to this sub- 
ject I respectfully submit herewith. 

"I am Sir, very respectfully, your obedient 
servant, W. T. Otto^ 

"Acting Secretary." 

This letter bore the following endorsement : 

"Executive Mansion, 

"November 14, 1864. 
"Let the tract of land within described be set 
apart as a military reservation pursuant to the 
recommendation of the acting Secretary of the In- 
terior. A. Lincoln." 

The reservation was surveyed in 1864 by Wm. 
Ashley and Hiram Witter and contained 6,168.92 
acres of land. 

The Joseph Mason claim mentioned in the 
recommendation of the acting Secretary of the In- 
terior, was later owned by Henry Forbes, then by 

[216] 



James L. Allen, who sold it to W. F. Watrous. The 
reservation was relinquished by the government and 
thrown open to homestead and preemption entries 
in 1872, under the provisions of an act of Congress, 
approved May 15th, of that year. 

Valuable Record Book 

While Judge M. E. Hocker was dealing in drugs 
in Laramie, Wyoming, in 1876, a man came to 
him with a book containing the morning reports and 
orders of the commanding officer at Camp Collins, 
and asked the Judge what he should do with it. 
The Judge looked the book through and saw that 
it contained records of events of historical value 
that would be of special interest to the people of 
Fort Collins, so he said to the man "Leave the book 
with me and I will send it to Frank Stover". He 
did so and Mr. Stover has been in possession of the 
book ever since. Through his kindness, I am per- 
mittted to copy from it as freely as I wish. The book 
is well preserved and the hand-writing in which the 
reports and orders are recorded is clear and distinct, 
showing but little the effect of age. The special 
orders issued by the commanding officers are num- 
bered from 1 to 187. These are followed in the 
book by a new series of general and special orders, 
the last one being numbered 16 and dated June 
25th, 1865. 

Special order No. 1 is dated Camp Collins, Colo- 
rado Territory, June 28th, 1864, and reads as fol- 
lows: 

"Serg't B. F. McClermont Company E 11th O. 
V. C. and temporarily assigned to Company F 11th 
Reg't O. V. C. is released from duty at this camp 
and is hereby ordered to Fort Halleck D. T. to 
report without delay to Major Mackey for duty. 
"By order, 

"Capt. W. H. Evans, 

"Comd'g Camp Collins." 

As most of the orders relate to details of soldiers 
to act as escorts to stage coaches, to the U. S. Pay- 
master or for guard or camp duty, only those having 
special bearing on conditions as they existed at that 
period or are of historical interest will be quoted, 
some of them at length and others by reference : 

Order No. 2, signed by Capt. Evans gives 
notice that "any citizen who shall be detected in 
Larimer county of giving or selling liquor to sol- 
diers of Company F 11th Ohio Cavalry, without 
the written permit of the commander of Camp 
Collins, will be visited with the severest punish- 
ment." 



HISTORY OF LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO 



Order No. 3, dated July 4th, 1864, assigns 
Acting Assistant Surgeon T. M. Smith to duty at 
the camp. Dr. Smith was the pioneer physician 
and surgeon of Fort Collins and is kindly remem- 
bered by many of those who lived here as late as 
1882, when he went to Virginia, where he died a 
few years later. Dr. Smith remained in the Cache 
la Poudre valley for several years after the soldiers 
left and was elected County Treasurer in 1872. 



quarters and barracks for private soldiers and the 
Post Quartermaster had the logs hauled to the new 
camp grounds by government teams. Here the 
logs were fitted and put in place by other details of 
soldiers under the direction of Private Harold F. 
Elborn, post carpenter. The doors, windows and 
hardware for the buildings were procured at Den- 
ver and the lumber for the floors and roof and the 
shingles were obtained at Obenchain's saw-mill, 




CAMP COLLINS IN 1865 



By an order issued July 1st, Antoine Janis was 
appointed to act as guide and interpreter for the 
post. Mr. Janis located on the claim on which the 
soldiers were camped at the time this order was 
issued in 1844, and could speak the language of the 
Indians fluently. He was an educated man who, 
by reason of having an Indian woman for his wife, 
was on friendly terms with the natives. 

An order issued August 21 directs that no en- 
listed men of this camp will be permitted to en- 
gage themselves to work for citizens without special 
permission from the commanding officer, owing to 
the additional labor that will be required in the 
construction of the new camp. Sergeants of com- 
panies were directed to see that all axes and other 
tools were put in order. 

Imm